The sun does some pretty awesome things. Damaging our bodies, however, isn't one of them. Exposure To The Sun And Heat May Cause: Skin lesions (some of which may be cancerous i.e. Skin Cancer) Tumors Freckles Sun Spots Discolored areas of the skin/pigmentation Breakdown of collagen and elastic skin tissue (example: wrinkles) Sunburn Premature aging of the skin Changes in the texture of the skin Brown spots Weak, dry, and/or brittle hair often prone to split ends Unexplained loss of eyelashes Pigmented lesions in the eye that have irregular borders or growth Corneal sunburn Damage to the retina Cataracts A Skin Cancer survivor demonstrates the difference between sun damage that is visible to the naked eye and sun damage that can be seen under UV light: What You Can Do About It: 1. Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long sleeves when going outside. The darker and tighter the weave of the clothing, the more protection it offers. There are even clothing and accessories with SPF! Accessories such as hats, transition lenses, and sunglasses offer added protection even if they don't have SPF. 2. Use sunblock and hygienic and cosmetic items with at least 30SPF daily. For best results, apply 15-30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 90 minutes. Avoid going out between the hours of 11am-3pm when the rays are strongest. If you don't like chemical sunscreens (absorbed by the skin), look for a waterproof physical sunscreen (stays on the skin surface, acts as a physical blocker) with zinc oxide. Daily moisturizers, make up, skin treatments, etc are available with SPF, though some may be available in brands other than your current regimen. *Remember to cover up scars or broken or damaged skin especially, as the damaging effects will be harsher in those areas. 3. Stop tanning. There is no such thing as a "healthy tan". Chances are, by the time your skin has tanned, you've already sustained a fair amount of sun damage, and even more so for sunburn. The effects of sun damage does not show up immediately, so don't wait for freckles, moles, skin tags, brown spots, pigmentation, etc to start showing up before you give up tanning! *Although people with naturally dark skin have higher levels of melanin, which means it takes much longer to accumulate sun damage, protection is still necessary. 4. Seek shade whenever possible. Fact: You do not need to be outdoors to get sun damage. UV rays bounce off reflective and light surfaces (eg. cars, sand, snow, concrete, reflective or white walls, clothing, etc) and can still do damage indoors. UV rays can also do damage in cold weather. 5. Stay hydrated at all times to avoid the negative effects of dehydration, especially in warm weather. Dehydration can cause exhaustion, loss of consciousness, dizziness, confusion, bad breath, muscle cramps, food cravings, and sallow skin for example. Nobody wants to end their lime early for a trip to the hospital for drips!