For most of us, summer is in full swing and with that comes lots and lots of sun and the risk of sun damage. Actually, according to Web MD, sun exposure can lead to the following:
- Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions – caused by loss of the skin’s immune function
- Benign tumors
- Fine and coarse wrinkles
- Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
- Sallowness — a yellow discoloration of the skin
- Telangiectasia — the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
- Elastosis — the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines and wrinkles)
Yikes. With that kind of risk, it’s probably best that you don’t leave your house during bright and beautiful days, and certainly never visit a beach on a hot day. If you do go outside, you should wear an oversized sun hat, carry an umbrella, or wear long sleeved turtlenecks and pants to ensure your skin isn’t exposed.
From beauty to life
Ridiculous, right? Taking such extreme measures to avoid the possible risk of damage to your skin is definitely overkill. But here’s something to think about… how often do you do things that are just as ridiculous as wearing a ninja outfit to the beach, when you attempt to fully protect and guard yourself from potentially damaging exposure to new relationships or situations? My advice on extreme skin care was absolutely ridiculous, but so is robbing yourself of meaningful experiences out of fear and possible risk.
Trust me, I get it. I’m a divorced, single mom who has been hurt numerous times. There’s no discrimination either. I’ve been hurt by men, I’ve been hurt by women, I’ve been hurt by friends, I’ve been hurt by colleagues, I even have a few enemies. And I’ve hurt people as well. I went through a period of trying to hide and guard myself from being hurt ever again. I had just had Caleb (my son) and was in a world of hurt, so I cut the world off to protect both of us. It was…an epic failure. I gained 25 lbs. (of which I’m still trying to get off), I was depressed, lonely, and life lost its luster. Even when I tried to “step out for a few minutes of sun,” I did so with no self-confidence and no self-worth. I got hurt anyway. It was then I realized what was wrong. God did not create us to be in seclusion. But you can protect yourself, and still enjoy a full life.
Here are some things that I learned:
- Learn to hold back. I’m a natural giver and pleaser, especially when it comes to men. I had to shift from that thinking, and begin realizing the gift should be in the relationship and not what I can do for someone.
- Avoid emotional vampires. If you have a friend that you talk to often but all you talk about is her and her problems, she’s sucking you dry, And you won’t even know it until you get out of the situation. Look for people that will allow you to talk, as much as they require you to listen.
- Remember that time will reveal all. So many times, whether it’s a business relationship, a new potential mate, or a budding friendship, we rush into defining what the entire relationship will be immediately. If the relationship is legitimate in 2 weeks, it will be just as good in 2 months or 2 years. I have 2 words for you “Be Still.” Time will expose the true nature of the relationship.
I have new relationships and I’m experiencing new things that have reshaped the way that I feel about life. I’ve lost people along the way that were actually hindering my growth. But I’ve enjoyed the process and will continue to do so, because I have my protection in place.
And back to beauty
So back to the SPF talk (I mean, this is a beauty blog, right?), here are a few reminders when you’re basking in the warmth of the sun.
- Apply SPF every day. The real risk for sun damage comes from UV rays, which are present even on overcast days.
- Don’t rely on SPF in your foundation. I’m all for getting a foundation that has SPF, but it shouldn’t be your only form of protection. Grab a moisturizer or a lightweight SPF to compliment it.
- Check your skin often. The best prevention for letting anything get out of hand is awareness. Check your skin for discoloration, new moles, patches of dry, etc. Go to the doctor with any questions that you may have.
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Enjoy the sun… and your life!