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Jul 01, 2015

I recently went on a trip to New Orleans. One day the temperature was 90 degrees with a “feels like” of 106. However, because I decided not to check my luggage, bringing sunscreen wasn’t an option. So, I made sure I stayed in the shade as much as possible. I still got a bit of sunburn on my shoulders since I didn’t follow the appropriate guidelines (more on that later). 

Why is it so important to protect your skin from the sun? Because of the Ultra Violet A (UVA) and Ultra Violet B (UVB) rays it emits to earth which land squarely on our skin. What are they?  According to

UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply that UVB. UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin's DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer. 

Enough science! Let’s get to 5 simple ways to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays thanks to Stay, Slop, Slip, Slap and Wrap!

But first, have you taken the Fitzpatrick Skin Type quiz? Don’t go all “test anxiety” on me. It’s super easy and you’ll know the answers. I just did and well, let’s just say I need to really protect my skin whenever I venture out the door. 

1) Stay…

…in the shade. If you can’t stay in your house (that’s no fun), at least don’t be out in the direct glaring sun!

2) Slop…

…on the sunscreen. Yes please, and don’t forget your neck. Speaking of sunscreen, there are many types are the market. If you’re as confused about SPF as I was, here’s a helpful little recap from 

“The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. A higher SPF number means more UVB protection (although it says nothing about UVA protection). For example, when applying an SPF 30 sunscreen correctly, you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in the sun. So, 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected. People often do not apply enough sunscreen, so they get less actual protection.”

3) Slip…

…on a shirt. No one loves wearing long sleeves in the summer, but it helps to remember the potential alternative of skin cancer. Check out all the new rash guards and sun protective clothing available, too. Hint: if you can see your skin through the clothing, it’s not protecting you from the sun’s rays.

4) Slap… 

…on a hat. This is good for sun protection as well as bad hair days (bonus!). More good news:  broad-brimmed hats are not only highly recommended to protect your skin, they’re also uber-fashionable.

5) Wrap…

…on sunglasses. Don’t forget to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them! Again, this does double duty for you: protection from harmful rays AND from the squinting that causes those pesky crow’s feet. Be sure your sunglasses include UV protection, too.

Enjoy the sun, protect your skin and be sure you are having fun!  Have a safe and happy summer! ☺

Now it’s your turn! What tricks do you use to care for your skin in the summer? Comment below or email me at with questions!

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Tanya Boyd
Tanya Boyd
President of Tanya Boyd & Associates

I didn’t want to go to urgent care or the ER. Using Doctors Online in my freshbenies membership, I went online to ask a doctor. The doctor responded and said to check my blood pressure. He followed up with the next day to make sure my numbers were OK. By then, the feeling was starting to go away. He told me if it persists to contact my doctor. It was great that I didn’t have to go somewhere and wait forever, and it was free.” - Kelli from Texas

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