Sunlight has a magical way of lifting our spirits.
It paints the backdrop of our most beloved childhood memories and energizes us even on the sleepiest of Sunday afternoons. It’s the focal point of vacations we covet, outdoor escapes we plan for, and the bright and airy Parisian apartments we dream about. The benefits to our mood aren’t just anecdotal, either—there is ample evidence that exposure to sunlight elevates our endorphins, helps us sleep better at night, and can even improve our immune functioning.
With the right precautions, the sun can truly be one of the strongest forces of good in our world. But if we lose sight of just how powerful it is, we can seriously damage our skin and our health. Here are four rules of thumb to keep in mind.
1. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
Sun damage doesn’t just happen from one or two bad burns (although those don't help). It’s cumulative—in fact, more than 75% of sun damage occurs after age 18. Frequent sun exposure—even from inside homes, cars, and buildings—has an additive impact on our skin over time.
2. Everyday is a sunny day.It may not feel like it, but even on cloudy days we’re at risk—80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through clouds. And UV rays are not just a summertime thing—they’re present year round during all seasons.
3. Premature aging isn’t preordained.
We all hope to age gracefully and with good health into our golden years. And with smart sun habits, that’s achievable—because up to 90% of visible aging is linked to sun exposure.
4. UPF is the best first line of defense.