“So what is the most important thing about sunscreen? It needs to be something you will actually wear – EVERY DAY, RAIN OR SHINE!”
Ok, we maybe have had 10 days of sun in Oregon in 2011, but summer is coming. Really. So do you have your sun screen? Have you been wearing it all winter long? Or are you hiding a bikini under your rain coat for the rare chance that you could actually feel the warmth of sunshine on your naked skin.
If you live in a state where it tends to be cloudy and rain frequently, sun protection seems like a waste of time. Heck, I need some Vitamin D! However, the true statistics show that Oregon is now among the top six states in the nation in the incidence of the most deadly form of skin cancer – melanoma! Washington, Idaho, Utah, Vermont and New Hampshire have 50% higher rates of melanoma then the nation as a whole. Could it be that the sunny states have the good sense to protect themselves, while us mushrooms in the Northwest forget that the sun shines even through the clouds?
In addition to cancers, sun exposure prematurely ages skin. It increases brown spots, red spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The “shoe leather” skin you see on retirees by the pool in Palm Springs is the result of years of leaving the sunscreen at home. Sun damage is one of the main reasons cosmetic procedures for the face are so popular. Years of tanning can make you look 60 years old when you have not even turned 50 – and that is a big motivator for choosing surgical procedures and laser treatments. Some people want to look younger, but nobody wants to look older!
So what is the most important thing about sunscreen? It needs to be something you will actually wear – EVERY DAY, RAIN OR SHINE! Ideally it will contain a physical barrier like 7% or greater micronized Zinc Oxide. At Portland Face Doctor we recommend Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50+ or Active Shield SPR 30+. It is available in our clinic, and established patients can also order it online from Epionce. Whatever your choice, wearing sun protection can delay your need for cosmetic procedures and protect your investment if you have had a procedure. So bring on the sun – and the sun screen, please!