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I grew up in a time where coconut tanning oil was king and so were tanning beds. I did a lot of damage to my skin that I now regret in my 50’s. I still love feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, but I also know that I must protect it. It’s common knowledge that overexposure to the sun damages our skin. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation says that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. I don’t know about you, but I want to do everything I can to avoid that. Here are some easy things you can do that will greatly impact the “older” you.

1. Use Sunscreen

There are so many varieties of sunscreen available today for every type of skin. There is simply no excuse for not using sunscreen when out in the sun. In fact, many types of make up, both in foundation and powder forms, contain SPF15 protection. This is fantastic because it gives you daily protection from the sun.

2. Wear a Hat

When I was a teen, no girls wore hats in the sun. Today, it is very common to see women of all ages sporting everything from ball caps to beautiful sun hats. It is pretty obvious that a hat provides greater protection for your face, ears and neck. With so many options, find the look that fits you best and rock that hat at the pool or beach.

3. Wear Sun Protective Clothing

Clothing can provide a great level of ultraviolet protection. Whether it’s swimsuits, t-shirts or active clothing, the right choice can help block the damaging UV rays of the sun. The best choices are dark or bright colors in a densely woven fabric. Also, keep it loose because tight fitting clothing will stretch and allow the UV rays to filter through. Also, the more you cover, the better the protection.

4. After Sun Care

After coming in from the sun, take advantage of a cool shower to clean the skin and remove any chlorine and sunscreen. Apply a quality lotion or cream to moisturize your skin and don’t forget about your lips. You may want to use a serum or special moisturizer for your face. Personally, I love applying aloe after being in the sun. It leaves my skin feeling cool and refreshed.

5. Water

Hydration is a key. You must drink water before, during and after spending time in the sun. Nothing will make you feel more run down than not getting enough water while at the beach or pool.

There are so many ways to enjoy the sun and still protect your skin. Taking care of your skin today will keep it healthy for the future and it’s never too late to start!

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