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Monday, June 17, 2013
The Sun: Friend or Foe?
Why That Golden Globe Hurts So Good
During that brief moment when experts seemed to be suggesting it was perfectly fine to skip the SPF in the name of scoring a healthy amount of vitamin D, many people reveled in the return of their greatest and guiltiest pleasure: a day in the sun. Sure, part of it was about the pure joy of soaking up those rays. But another part of it was about the way a tan makes you feel: younger, slimmer, and sexier.
That sense of well-being isn't your imagination. There are plenty of health benefits to being outdoors. Research suggests the sun have both psychological and physical benefits, improving skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema, combating depression and anxiety, improving sleep quality, boosting immunity, and even enhancing blood circulation. So is it really possible to spend an afternoon at th ebach without feeling like you're committing a crime? As long as you're protected. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30, a protective hat, and try to avoid the sun at midday when rays are at their strongest.
Many of us still aren't serious enough about sun safety. At least that's the finding of a Harris Interactive survey of almost 2,400 adults. Though nearly half reported becoming more vigilant about using sunscreen in the past 5 years, only a paltry 300 respondents said they apply it daily--a dangerously low number, considering we get the bulk of our sun exposure while running errands or driving our cars and not while at the beach. This cumulative exposure has been linked to the development of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Obviously, there's a lot to know about sun protection. What you don't know can hurt you and your family.