As we kick off the season of outdoor fun, remember to protect yourself from the sun.
By Larry Bishop, MD
Health First Dermatology
As we head into the peak season for outdoor fun, we Floridians deserve a pat on the back. We are, for the most part, worldly wise as to the dangers the sun poses to our health, and we protect our skin at a much higher rate than our northern friends who come to our sunny beaches to have fun, only to get that cooked-lobster, bright red hue.
We also deserve credit for being among the more environmentally conscious states, and as the issues of the environmental dangers of some sunscreen ingredients have hit the news, we have started to adapt. We want to protect our skin, but the environment as well!
Here are some great guidelines to help you protect your skin and the planet, as well in the upcoming "Fun Season":
When possible, avoid the peak hours of sunlight, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wear sun-protective clothing such as a rash guard or any one of the many commercially available sun shirts, which will provide sun protection and limit the amount of sunscreen needed to protect your skin.
Remember to protect your eyes, and to account for reflected light off the beach and the water.
Avoid the sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone or Octinoxate. Each has been shown to stress the highly sensitive coral reefs, as well as other sea life. Hawaii, Key West and some beaches on the Yucatan peninsula have passed measures to ban these ingredients. Other ingredients are likely to follow, including Titanium Dioxide, homosalate, octisalate and octocrylene.
Don't forget your lips.
Protect your head as well by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Finally, don't forget to reapply your environmentally friendly sunscreen every two hours. Otherwise, the sun, sand and sweat will degrade your sunscreen and you will end up looking like our lobster-like northern visitors.