I’m not often inspired by fortunes from fortune cookies, realbuzz friends, but every once in a while I read one that I feel moved to share:
Yes, we can definitely do better with our planet, but I’d like to bring things down to a more personal level. Replace “world” with a word that works for you (body, life . . . fill in the blank) and make any proper modifications.
For me, the word is skin – and my sentence (though not perfect grammar) looks like this:
“I have treated this skin of mine as though I had a spare in the trunk.”
I guiltily admit that I came from that generation of bathing beauties who slathered on the baby oil (with a bit of iodine) and then proudly sported those sexy strap tans (or in my case, painful sunburns) under sundresses.
And as a personal trainer, (training clients, running and walking outdoors) I spent hours and hours in the sun without a drop of SPF. Eek!
So it was with great interest that I read a study published in last week’s Annals of Medicine, concluding that diligent sunscreen use can slow or prevent signs of aging.
The study involved 900 people ages 25 to 55, who live in Australia, where (as in my home state of Florida) year-long intense sun exposure is a fact of life. Most of the participants had fair skin, and nearly all burned easily when exposed to the sun. Also, most of the participants used sunscreen at least some of the time, while two-thirds wore hats when sunning.
Researchers were particularly interested in what would happen to sun-exposed skin if participants used broad-spectrum sunscreen all the time – in this study, spanning a four and a half year period. Half of the study participants were instructed to slather on sunscreen every day, whereas the other half were encouraged to continue their usual (and typically mediocre) sun protection practices.
The study results showed that those participants who religiously used sunscreen had noticeably more resilient and smoother skin than the “some of the time” sunscreen wearers. It is important to note that those older than 55 may not see improvement – apparently after age 55 the skin’s aging effects begin to overshadow the skin-appearance advantages provided by sunscreen use.
Three interesting facts to keep in mind:
- The sunscreen used in the study had a SPF of 15 (which filters out 92 percent of the rays) – meaning that someone who usually burns in 10 minutes would take be protected for 150 minutes if properly slathered.
- The sun screen wearers were monitored; occasionally having to weigh their sunscreen bottles to prove they were using it.
- The study was sponsored by National and Medical Research Council of Australia, not a sunscreen manufacturer.
Luckily for me (and my skin), I stopped the sun abuse and entered “sunscreen” rehab, consequently, around the same time I moved to sunny Florida. The ghost-like sheen I sport when riding my bike or humongous hat I wear when walking on the beach may not be super sexy, but my skin appears grateful.
There are no “spare” layers of skin, in the trunk, realbuzz friends! Before you hit the pavement for your summertime run: Slather on the sunscreen!
How about you, realbuzz friends? Are you a sun(screen) worshiper?
Until next time . . . a “shady” Mare
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