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UV Awareness

Summer is certainly in full swing with high temperatures and lots of sunshine. This is a perfect time to remember the pros and cons of these sun-filled days.

The sun is good for our gardens, our mood, and for vitamin D synthesis, but UV rays also put us at risk for skin cancer and eye damage. As little as 15 minutes in the sun on a day with a high UV index can be harmful. 

The American Cancer Society recommends the “Slip, Slop, Slap…and Wrap” phrase to remember the important steps of protection against the sun’s UV rays. Slip into a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses. Finding shade, a sunscreen with added carotenoids (while maintaining a high SPF rating), and increasing carotenoid intake in foods, can also help support a “burn-free” summer.

At PHHI, Dr. Giuseppe Valacchi researches skin damage as a result of oxidative stress, whether that stress is induced by pollution (such as ozone or cigarette smoke), UV light or in combination. In fact, a recent study demonstrated that exposure to ozone and UV showed an additive skin damage effect compared to only UV. So when the Air Quality Index is high, indicating more air pollution, it is even more important to take skin protective measures.

This article was part of the July 2022 e-news FRESH Rx. Subscribe for similar content delivered to your inbox monthly.