One of the most damaging influences on our skin is the sun. It is responsible for the majority of the signs of aging in the skin, and can even cause cancer. Even with this knowledge, we love to just soak it up! In this business I hear lots of excuses from people about why they don’t need to protect their skin from the sun. Lately, I’ve heard the rumor more than once that 80% of sun damage to the skin is done before age 18, so there’s no need to worry about sun protection after that. The truth is that the sun’s rays are damaging to the skin at any age, so you need to be permanently on the defensive.

Sun Damage in Youth

The most damaging sun exposure in terms of increasing the signs of aging, and increasing the risk of cancer is sunburn. Any exposure to the sun can be damaging, but getting a sunburn is the worst. Kid’s skin is more sensitive to the sun, which makes it easier for them to burn. About 25% of sun damage done to the skin occurs before age 18, but you can protect your kids by making sure they wear sunscreen, and reapplying it frequently when they’re playing outside.

The Damage Continues

Sun damage continues on past childhood at an alarming rate, especially for those who don’t feel the need to wear sunscreen regularly anymore. Those who work outdoors are at a higher risk, as well as those who take up an outdoor hobby like golf or fishing. Using a tanning bed or sunbathing increases the damage as well. You need to be just as diligent about protecting yourself from sun damage as you are for your kids. Using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is the minimum needed for regular daily sun exposure. For a day by the pool, switch to SPF 50 to keep your skin youthful and healthy.

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