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Here Comes the Sun

This summer, the rays are playing in Tampa Bay. But it isn’t the home-run hitting, second-base stealing kind; these rays are the peskier variety that cause long-term skin damage without adequate protection.

Sunlight isn’t a bad thing by any means, and it actually hand delivers vitamin D to the body, a nutrient that strengthens bones and wards off disease. Several studies note that the sun’s rays are a catalyst for serotonin, one of the chemicals our bodies produce to raise happiness levels.

The ultraviolet rays in sunlight ultimately play the most influential part in harming skin. After a mere 20 minutes of exposure, skin cells begin to reap the negative effects of UV rays.

Living in a sun-dominated region means that negative exposure can easily happen anywhere. Since it’s a necessity to brave the great outdoors, here’s what you can do to protect your skin from the damaging UV rays:

  • When outside for a prolonged period – at the beach, doing yard work or exercising – always wear sunscreen.
  • Make sure your sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays. Broad or multi-spectrum phrasing typically means your product protects against both.
  • Double check with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deepwebsite and product database to make sure your skin care products don’t contain environmentally harmful chemicals.
  • Look for sunscreen brands that include water resistance and reapply regularly.
  • When working in the yard, wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and pants.
  • Avoid being outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., usually the time with the most intense sunlight.

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