September is Healthy Aging Month. As you consider everyday practices that make you a healthier person, also take time to examine your skin in the mirror and make a plan for improved and consistent skin health moving forward.
The sun’s UVA rays have direct negative effects on our skin’s aging process. Photoaging is not the same as natural aging.
- Approximately 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun.
- UVA rays penetrate clouds and glass. That means you get the photoaging damage of these rays through glass windows in your car, home, and workplace even on cloudy days.
- The number of wrinkles on your face is directly related to your total hours of lifetime sun exposure.
Also, consider the fact that UVB rays (think sunburns and the worst of the skin cancers) can have dreadfully compromising effects to your overall health.
- More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- Actinic keratosis is the most common precancerous condition; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
Starting today, apply a moisturizer containing mineral-based SPF (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or iron oxide) every morning, every day of the year. These are the safest sunscreens – they don’t cause cancer. They are effective until you wash them off, swim them off, or sweat them off. And nothing you put on above, with, or below them renders them less effective. Your skin is your body’s biggest organ. You’ve only got one shot at protecting it.
Start now and take control of your healthy aging – it’s totally attainable, and it’s totally up to you.