This blog was born from a conversation with my husband about living modestly. We dress modestly (yes, even he doesn’t show off his body in public), we try to be modest with the money we spend (and I’ve been a student so living the life of a pauper was necessary), and throughout life I try to do things in moderation. I think that can carry over to almost any area of life and that includes time in the sun (or in artificial sun).
Today I read an article that just made me sad. Apparently there are people that even after having had skin cancer, will go back to tanning booths. This has become such an addiction that even when they have had their health threatened, they continue to go back for more.
Please don’t get me wrong, I adore being out in the sun! I love feeling the warmth on my face and feeling the blues go away as my body produces that wonderful thing called Vitamin D. When I was in my early to mid-20’s I was also a regular partaker of tanning beds (oh the horror!) and was quite tan.
Here’s the thing though, my natural skin tone is PALE (I mean, scare small children and glow in the dark white) so for me to be tan it takes a pretty good amount of sun exposure. As good as the beautiful sun feels on my pale skin, there are so many drawbacks that it’s so easy to talk ourselves out of recognizing.
- Sun exposure causes wrinkles! This isn’t crazy new news but a recent study came out showing that just putting on sunscreen regularly helps reduce wrinkles. That is a major pro in my book.
- Skin cancer is a real. It’s so real and it’s so scary. I have friends that have had melanoma and have been lucky enough to beat it but it’s now there and a part of their lives. Melanoma is the big one but there are other skin cancers that don’t metastasize but do leave a scar when it has to be removed and do increase the risk of the really bad cancers. Who wants more scars and to up cancer risks??
- You don’t want to go blind. Continued sun exposure can result in cataracts, eye cancer, and other eye conditions. Seeing is a gift, don’t let it be taken away.
- Damage to your skin has an affect on your immunity. Your skin is one of the biggest protectors you have to outside invaders. It is a lot of real estate on your body and damaging it takes out some of your natural protection. Crazy infections and super bugs seem to be running rampant lately, why damage something that’s naturally there to protect you?
I know we all have vises, I’m not saying that we should shun the sun but how about we take steps to reduce risks? Sunscreen should be a must for anyone spending more than 30 minutes in the sun (that much allows us to help produce the vitamin D we need), avoid going out during mid-day, wear hats and sunglasses (and lip balm with SPF!), and stop going to the tanning beds. These things don’t cut out the sun altogether, they just help us all stay a little safer and hopefully avoid something that is potentially avoidable.