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Snow White and the Seven Sun Safety Tips

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Anyone that has ever seen me at any point throughout my life knows that I am an Oregonian born and raised and the word ”tan” is just not in my vocabulary. Mostly because my skin really does not tan, or burn, for that matter. It just stays pale.

When I was younger, in my high school and college days, I desperately tried to tan. After all, it was imperative that I look like the tall, tan, thin models on all the magazines. So, I went to a local tanning salon daily and napped in their tanning bed for 20 minutes every day.

My adventures at the tanning salon

When I first went in to the salon, they asked me how long I wanted to tan for, and I said the maximum 20 minutes. The clerk paused, looked at my fish belly white skin, and told me they usually only recommended 8 minutes for first timers. I told her that I knew my skin and if I felt like I needed to get out early, I would.

So, I think she finally let me tan for about 15 minutes. I was confident I would still be the same shade of pale, which was exactly what happened. Needless to say, the clerk was shocked that I wasn’t a lobster.

I stopped tanning after a few months. Not because I was foresighted enough to care about how my skin would look and feel when I got older, but because my wallet couldn’t afford to cough up the extra funds, especially when I wasn’t seeing a result.

That scared me out of tanning ever again

Shortly after I stopped tanning, two very close people had spots of skin cancer removed. That pretty much scared me out of tanning ever again.

However, I still need to be vigilant about sunscreen. Yes, even in Oregon, where the sun only makes an appearance a couple of months a year. Because even though my skin tone laughs at the sun, the sun can still have the last laugh and give me skin cancer if I’m not properly protecting it. Also, the worst sunburn I’ve ever endured was on an overcast day. So, even the clouds can’t protect you!

Seven tips for sun safety

So here are this Snow White’s seven tips for sun safety: (try saying that 3 times fast)

Be cool

Pretend you’re Bono and wear sunglasses. Ideally, sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays, so check the label. Cosmetic glasses and those without labels won’t provide enough protection. Children should also wear sunglasses with similar protection. Toy glasses look cute, but that’s all they’re good for.

Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before you go outside so it’ll stay on

If you put it on while you’re already outside, you could sweat it off. And reapply after swimming or sweating. Especially if you towel yourself dry, because you’re rubbing the sunscreen right off.

Got kids?

The stick sunscreen works well because it’s waxy and won’t drip into their eyes. Babies younger than 6 months should generally be kept out of the sun.

Don’t forget to sunscreen everything!

I always forget to put sunscreen where my hair parts, so my scalp gets burned, and then it looks like I have dandruff, which nobody likes. So, wear a hat, or sunscreen. Especially on bald heads. Also, don’t forget your ears, behind your ears and your neck. Pucker up! Yes, your lips can burn, and yes it hurts. They need a balm or lipstick with an SPF 30 or higher.

Be stylish and protect yourself with a hat

One with a 2 to 3 inch brim is great because it can protect your ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp. And make sure the hat is made of a tightly woven fabric. You might like the look of straw hats, but they have gaps in the weave that leave your skin vulnerable.

Check the expiration date!

How long have you had your sunscreen? It can go bad, so check the date on the bottle. If it’s been a while since you’ve used it, but it’s still good, shake it up to make sure the ingredients are properly mixed.

Generosity is appreciated in all things, but especially sunscreen

Use at least 1 oz, or a full shot glass worth of sunscreen on your arms, legs, neck, and face. And do this every 2 hours. Also, the higher the Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, the more protection you receive. However, while SPF 50 filters about 98% of the sun’s UVB rays, SPF 100 filters 99%. The higher the SPF number is, the less difference there is in the protection. And you still have to reapply every 2 hours.

So, those are my tips for sun safety as we enter into the sunny season in Oregon. Do you have any others you’d like to contribute? Please share!!

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