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Honestly!! Stay out of the sun, it’s not your friend.

May 14, 2020

Anyone who has met Pamela or even talked to her, knows how strongly she feels about avoiding the sun and having proper sun protection.  Recently, she made a post to her horse club about sun exposure and sunscreen.  We thought it would make a good blog post this time of year, when people are gearing up to spend time outside.

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Dear Horse Community Members:

As a skincare professional and owner of a skincare company for the last 31 years (and counting), I’m compelled to give some tips on proper sunscreen application.

Let’s not forget these products are called sunSCREEN and not sunBLOCK for a reason. 

Choose sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. With sunscreen, more is always better! 

Don’t use sunscreen that is over 1 year old. It is expired and the SPF is unknown, and guaranteed to be way less than labeled. 

Always apply sunscreen to clean skin and not over any other lotions or creams for maximum sun protection. 

Apply very liberally. Use at least 1 full teaspoon JUST for your face. This does not include your ears or neck. For reference – one adult person should go through a 6-8 oz bottle of sunscreen if used all over the body in a weekend of sun exposure, such as the beach, swimming, etc. 

Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. 

Do not use spray sunscreen unless you spray it into your hand first, and then apply the full amount to your skin. Sprays do not land entirely on your skin and if the sunscreen agent gets into your eyes, it stings and can cause eye irritation for the rest of the day. 

Don’t forget your lips! Wear chapstick with at least SPF 30. 

Nothing beats shade! Baseball caps may look cute, but offer no sun protection whatsoever except to your forehead. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat while in the sun is smart. 

Wear long-sleeved SPF shirts and protect your neck. Pull up your collar and/or wear a bandanna tied around your neck for sun protection. Solumbra shirts (made by Sun Precautions) are extremely light-weight and vented for staying cool and they last forever. Like years…decades even! 

Apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands even if you wear gloves. Unless a material is labeled with a specified SPF, assume all fabrics are SPF 8, which is not adequate sun protection. This also applies to T-shirts, long-sleeved cotton shirts and everything in between. 

There is no such thing as a ‘base tan.’ People think that getting a tan will prevent future sun damage. That’s hilarious. That’s like saying that smoking the cigarette before the next cigarette will prevent lung cancer. Tanning is a sign of skin damage resulting from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Regardless of natural skin color and pigments in the skin, always protect your skin from the sun. 

Finally, skin cancer sucks. It’s the most prevalent form of cancer on the planet and it can ruin your day, week or take your life. Melanoma and squamous cell carcinomas are not something to take lightly. These skin cancers are highly preventable by properly slathering up and covering up before enjoying the sunny outdoors. 

I also highly recommend wearing sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection. Macular degeneration also sucks, and sunburns to the back of the eye make it more prone to this blinding disease. 

See you on the trails! – Pamela

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