Remember those days when you couldn’t get enough sun? For me, it started as a teenager when each spring, my sister, cousins, friends and I would sign up for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) fundraiser walk-a-thon.  Preparing for the event included finding an outfit that would cover enough to be comfortable during the 10 mile walk while allowing the most possible exposure to sun on our lily-white flesh, prepping it for summer. This usually included a bikini top and shorts, baby oil, good walking shoes and a pair of sunglasses to shield our eyes from the glare of all the other shiny bodies who walked beside us. This was the 70’s and 80’s and that’s what we did back then. I distinctly remember my mom telling me many times, “You’re going to regret getting that much sun.” Well, she was right! I would burn so badly that it literally hurt to move for days… But, in my mind, the sun felt wonderful and after intense peeling, I usually had what I considered to be a decent tan to start the summer with. This was back when a tan was a big indicator of beauty in a lot of people’s minds.

My thinking and my understanding have changed a lot since then. I see sun damaged skin, much like my own, every single day at Beautiful You. Nowadays it’s in vogue to wear sunscreen and not get a burn or a tan, which, as it turns out, makes sense medically as well. What we know and understand now is that too much sun can damage the skin and alter the DNA of this living tissue, causing negative chemical changes. The skin is the largest organ of the body and has a very important job to do – to act as a barrier, protecting us from mechanical impacts and pressure, variations in temperature, micro-organisms, radiation and chemicals.

When we get too much UV radiation from the sun, those protective functions of the skin can be altered over time and become less effective. This fact, along with the aesthetic things that occur with too much sun – wrinkles, brown spots and dryness of tissue – are all the more reason to get serious about protecting this important part of our bodies. We must change the way we consider a tan as the ultimate indicator of beauty. Moist, supple skin over our body is healthy, youthful and beautiful.  If you must have a tan, try a spray tan or a high-end moisturizing tanning product. It might take a short period of time to get used to doing this technique well, but it can be achieved with a little practice.

Beautiful You provides products and services that reduce and help repair damaged skin. An Erbium laser treatment, IPL photo facial and Radio Frequency Microneedling are all interventions that can help blend uneven skin tones, improving the look of our skin, particularly on our face, neck and décolleté.

Remember…wear SPF 30 or above as a base on regularly exposed skin in addition to your makeup that contains its own SPF protection. My personal favorite, Image Prevention + 50 SPF, is my “go to” every day, even to water my gardens early in the morning. If I don’t have it on and the sun gets a chance to kiss my cheeks, that old sun damage from the 1979 MDA walk-a-thon shows up all over again in brown blotches! I encourage all of my clients to take that extra precaution every day by adding the sunscreen before you head out the door. Enjoy the last of summer!