Over the years, my mother has reminded me that the first thing the doctor said to her when I was born was, “Keep this one out of the sun.” I was practically translucent for the first few years of my life, then slowly as the sun’s penetrating rays bombarded my skin, freckles appeared reminding me that my pigment is splotchy at best. Thankfully, my mother was constantly slathering sunscreen on me as a child (sunblock wasn’t really around until I was in my teens) providing some protection from the brutal Southern California sun.
The biggest benefit of my mother’s sunblock habit was that I continued this habit. I don’t leave the house without SPF 30 on my face, and during the summer months SPF 50 on most of my body. But how can my sunblock habit save money? The sun’s damaging rays are the primary culprit when it comes to wrinkles. Of course over time gravity and the lack of collagen eventually give way to the skin’s wrinkled appearance, but sunblock can definitely slow down the aging process. Instead of heading to the plastic surgeon to zap premature wrinkles, or inject Botox – a form of botulism (nice, huh?), I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to avoid visits with that kind of specialist.
One could argue that I’m vain, or that the wrinkles that have gradually gained a foot-hold on my face I’ve decided to ignore instead of freeze them into a mask-like appearance (an unskilled Botox treatment can leave a person looking a bit frozen and immobile). Yet instead I argue that I’ve saved thousands by diligently applying sunblock for a fraction of the cost and not sunbathing for a deep-dark tan, which in my case would just end up as a humongous freckle.
Another advantage to using sunblock is that I’m saving myself from the costly medical expenses of skin cancer, which is definitely more serious and deadly than a few wrinkles. Sunblock has protected me from the dark, uneven splotches that people with my complexion often develop from years of sun damage.
The invention of waterproof sunblock has allowed me to continue to be active outdoors without having to hide from the sun like a vampire (hint, hint Nicole Kidman! – though she does have enviable, pure-white skin.) The cost of applying sunblock practically year round is under $75 per year, a savings compared to the alternatives (plastic surgery, Botox, or skin cancer!)
My sunblock tips from experience:
- Use a good quality sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 for your body
- Select a sunblock especially designed for your face (SPF 30+) – these sunblocks absorb better into your skin leaving you shine-free
- Apply sunblock throughout the year (if you live in a gloomy or wintery place, you can select a slightly lower SPF but UV’s are still coming through the cloud cover)
- Don’t forget your neck and chest
Do you wear sunblock 365 days out of the year? Why or why not?