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Helpful Tips for Seniors - Ways to Enjoy the Sun and Reduce Skin Damage Risk

Spending time in the sunlight has been correlated with an elevated mood. People that live in regions of the world that see a major reduction in daylight during the winter also report increased struggles with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. The Sun is a radiant form of vitamin D that can be absorbed by the body. Though there are other ways to get vitamin D, a long-term deficiency can have a major impact on your health.

However, as with most things, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to sun exposure. The main hype around it is that it “causes aging,” but if you’re already elderly, it’s still important to take some precautions. Aged skin is more delicate and sensitive, so it’s even more important to protect.

Don’t Force a Tan

The tanning of your skin is the physical result of skin cells that have been damaged. When tanned skin became a fashion statement, people began to use and abuse tanning beds, which are the harshest form of ultraviolet radiation and the most damaging to your skin cells. Just one session in a tanning bed is the equivalent of eight to ten hours in the sun. Even though tanning beds increase your tan, they also exponentially increase the damage to your skin.

Scrutinize Your Sunscreen Ingredients

Simply applying sunscreen is not enough. While it gives most people peace of mind to cover themselves head to toe with sunscreen before enjoying a day at the lake or out on a boat, not all formulas are to be trusted. Just because something is approved by the FDA, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Perhaps worse than too much sun is the exposure to the chemical cocktail that is in most mainstream sunscreens.

Oxybenzone is at the top of the list of ingredients under scrutiny. It is a chemical that absorbs easily into your skin where it comes into contact with your bloodstream and can wreak havoc in your system. It is linked to endocrine disruption, induces pro-carcinogenic cellular activity, and can cause allergic reactions and photoallergic reactions, meaning the condition will worsen when the skin is exposed to sunlight while using the product. Ironic, right? Additionally, oxybenzone is terrible for the environment. It’s also the most common ingredient in big brand chemical sunscreens, though there are many more that are being connected to harmful side effects.

Look instead for a mineral sunscreen because it’s designed to not absorb into your skin and essentially acts as a physical shield against harmful UV rays.

Other Ways to Protect Your Skin

There are certain types of clothing made specifically to protect your skin against the Sun. A long-sleeve rash guard still allows you to enjoy water activities without being overexposed. UV-blocking sunglasses are also a great addition to your sun protection arsenal.

Seek shady spots when possible, and keep in mind that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so make sure you’re well-protected if you plan on being out during that time.

There is nothing wrong with soaking up the sun in moderation. A healthy amount of sun exposure has even been shown to have some benefits. Just make sure to not overdo it and whatever you do, don’t let yourself get a sunburn. It’s not worth the discomfort or the long-term health effects, such as skin cancer, linked to chronic overexposure.

Senior Living Options in Delray Beach

If you are coming to a point where you want to find a Delray Beach senior living option like a Delray Beach assisted living facility, reach out to LiveWell Placements. LiveWell Placements looks for the right home for each senior, at no cost to the senior or their family. We find the perfect solution, whether it is Delray Beach independent living or Delray Beach assisted living facilities. We specialize in all types of Delray Beach senior living solutions. Check out our personalized approach to finding the perfect solution here, or find out how to get in touch with us on this page to get started.

Check out these other resources to learn more: Resource 1 | Resource 2 | Resource 3

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