Monday, July 21, 2014

Ahhh The SUN!!!!

It's summer!!

And it's been summer for a while now. I'm not kidding those of us in the southwest states have had hot weather for months, but I finally have time to write this month so this is when we're going to talk about it.

The sun is great. We need it for vitamin D, we (I) need it every once in a while to feel happy. It's not totally benign though - so today's post is a little combination of an ode for my love of the sun and a little conversation about safe sun from my doctor side. Also I'm on a Dermatology rotation - I hope they'd be proud of me.

I was noticing this morning that my arms looked kind of darker than I remembered. Not tan - let's be clear I'm ghostlike - but just less bright white than I was previously.

And I realized I have not been diligent about my sunscreen on my 8 minute walks to work. 

You wouldn't think I could tan in that time, but I do live at 1 mile of elevation, so I guess I'm closer to the sun?

I don't know I was bad at physics. And earth science.

So enough rambling - here's some things to know:

1. When in the sun, one should wear sunglasses. This isn't an issue of looking cool - though obvs you do. Really, protecting your eyes from the sun is good for your retina - the literature about exactly how to best do this is still a little controversial - but putting on some shades is more than nothing. So keep your eyes safe.

 If you've been reading for a bit you know I love my Warby Parkers . They're not exactly inexpensive, but each pair means a pair for a good cause, and they're sturdy, gorgeous and protect my eyes wonderfully. In the picture above John and I are both wearing them.

And I've had mine for ages. Here's a little throwback to Match Celebration Weekend 2013 in Las Vegas. Miss you Maria!

- Wear SPF 30 or more: there's not much convincing evidence that more than 30 is any better than 30. If you're wearing a higher number that DOES NOT mean we can skip reapplication.
- Reapply every 2 hours.
- A spray is adequate for reapplication if necessary, but creams give better coverage and should be used when possible. The base layer for the day really should be in lotion form for best protection.
- There are 2 types of sunscreen: chemical and barrier. Chemical ones mostly have ingredients ending in -one. The barrier ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium. Most of my collection is of the chemical variety and I like it perfectly fine, but sensitive skin types may react better to barrier versions.

Here's mine. Feels pretty nice. Chipped nail polish. That's real life.

3. There is no safe tan.
- Although being tan may protect you from the actual pain of a sunburn, and a severe sunburn may be worse than a gradual browning, a "healthy tan" is a bit of a misnomer. I'm pretty sad about this revelation because I definitely grew up with the notion that it was a good idea to get a base tan in the summer and I love the way I look when I'm tan. Sun exposure causes skin damage. Period.

Doesn't mean I'm going to stop going out in the sun, but this summer I'm paying more attention than ever to my sun protection.

4. Enjoy!
We're naturally attracted to the sun and need it for vitamin D. So slap on some sunscreen and get out there.

Happy Summer!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

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