Don't Get BurnedWhy sunscreen is a must-have this summer, and why everyone looks better pale.
By: Sarah Spangenberg, East High School
As the school year comes to a close one place is on many people’s minds lately: the beach, and reacquiring dark summer skin. It’s almost daily that I hear 10-minute-long conversations at softball practice about tanning, tans, and how tan is so-and-so. So tanning is important to young people, but safety should be leading the way.
Yes, everyone knows that excessive sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, but so many frequent tanners don’t take that threat seriously. Not all skin cancer is easily treatable; according to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), UV exposure is the known cause of around 65 percent of invasive melanoma, and this form of cancer kills around 8,500 people each year, with that number increasing. It has around a 1 in 7 fatality rate, and is particularly dangerous if left untreated.
But cancer isn’t the only reason young people should be concerned with limiting their time baking in the sun; nobody wants premature wrinkling and sagging as well as dark blotchy skin.
It’s important that everyone, not only light-skinned people, to wear sunscreen at all times of sun exposure. When deciding which SPF to use, consider this: tests have shown that SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent, and 50 protects against 98 percent. High-risk individuals benefit from greater SPF sunscreens, up to 45 or 50, says the Skin Cancer Foundation.
The SCF is also starting a new campaign called Go With Your Own Glow, to help both women and men feel beautiful in whatever shade of skin they naturally have. The goal is to prevent skin cancer and eliminate the trend of tanning.
“Tanning as a life priority is over,” said Lois Joy Johnson, former Beauty and Fashion Director of MORE magazine. “Skin that’s not tanned is gorgeous.”
According to the SCF website, “Tanning is undesirable – it’s not fashionable, nor healthy, and is obsolete as a lifestyle.”
“A healthy glow does not mean a tan and I think that’s what we have to clear up. A healthy glow is your skin tone glowing. You – looking luminous,” said Sarah Brown, Beauty Director of Vogue magazine.
Looks like it’s time for us to forget about becoming a “bronzed beauty” and to realize the beauty in natural, healthy skin. This summer, before you go to the beach, grab some sunscreen.