A Coloradan’s Guide to Skin Care
You’ve heard the boast about Colorado: 300 days of sunshine. It’s one of the many qualities that makes Colorado such a beautiful state to live in year-round. Even in the winter, when temperatures drop, the sun is (usually) up.
However, living in one of the sunniest states comes with a catch. With more time soaking up the sun, we’ve got to take more precautions to protect our skin from ultraviolet rays.
But here’s the good news: It’s really easy and cheap to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. So, here are six tips for enjoying the sun while protecting your skin:
1. Wear sunscreen
We know, we know, this is really obvious advice, but you really should wear sunscreen. And not just any sunscreen: Wear broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF.
How often should I reapply?
Reapply every two hours. If you’ve taken a dip in the water or have been sweating, be sure to reapply sooner. Lay it on thick, and enlist the help of a buddy to get those hard-to-reach places, like your shoulders and back. We don’t want any weird fingerprint marks 😉
Also, check the expiration date of your sunscreen (yep, for the one you may have found in the trunk of your car). Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years.
2. Put some clothes on
We realize that wearing pants and a long-sleeve shirt in this sultry weather can be extremely impractical. But it’s one of the best ways to protect your skin from the sun.
So, if you know you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, err on the side of wearing longer layers. If that’s just never going to happen, you can still wear a hat to help protect your head and face from the sun. Dark colored hats are believed to be more protective.
3. Shades on…your face
You spent good money on those shades. Wear them…on your face, preferably so that they’re covering your eyes. They obviously look sweet hanging from your shirt and wrapped around the back of your neck, but in addition to making you look awesome, they are also meant to protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. Wear them accordingly.
4. Schedule your annual skin exam
The American Cancer Society recommends an annual skin screening for everyone 20 to 80 years of age. Haven’t had yours? Find an in-network Dermatologist using our provider search and book your appointment.
5. Find some shade
Sometimes there’s just no escaping the sun, but try to find some shade when you can, especially if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. For example, if you’re reading (or texting) at the park, get under that elm tree. If you’re walking a few miles, get on the side of the street with the shade.
And for all the hikers out there: there are a bunch of awesome, shady Colorado trails you should hit up this summer. In addition to being in the shade, the temperature in the high country is, on average, 20 degrees cooler than the flats. Here’s a quick list of shaded trails to get you started.
6. Stay out of those tanning beds
Not sure if folks are still doing this? At any rate, the risks of indoor tanning are well-documented. According to the CDC, tanning indoors:
- Increases your risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma
- Causes visible signs of skin damage, wrinkles and age spots.
- Changes your skin texture.
- Increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used.
As always, if you have any questions about finding an in-network doctor and how this will be covered by your plan, please give our Colorado-based customer service team a call: 800-475-8466. You can also email us at Questions@fridayhealthplans.com. We’re happy to help!