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I have recently become obsessed with taking care of my skin and have begun to follow a skin care regimen religiously. One of the most important additions to my skin care regimen? Protection from the sun by any means necessary. I am always preaching to my friends and co-workers about the benefit of wearing sunscreen since I have learned so much about it as a beauty, fashion and travel blogger, but some of them still refuse to wear it..But it isn’t too late to start. This is why you should start wearing sunscreen today:

1PROBLEM:

After my first sunburn incident I had in Miami over spring break, I have become extremely conscious about the different effects the sun, drinking, sleep deprivation and beauty regimen techniques have on your skin. For those of you who are now thinking to themselves, “Oh that’s not me. This girl probably has super fair skin and turns to a crisp as soon as she’s in the sun. I don’t need to worry about the sun” – you are wrong. Yes, I have fair skin, but I am also 100% Italian and can get very dark in the summer if I try. My father has my same complexion, while my mother and little brother are a bit more olive than me and get very tan very fast. I turn super pale in the winter and pretty tan in the summer. However, just because I can get tan in the summer if I try doesn’t mean it’s good for me.

Although a tan might look good now at 22. I can’t help but notice people who are older, even in their 30s who already have signs of sun damage, from sunspots to freckles to patches and wrinkles. Although you think that if you wear sunscreen with 15 SPF or higher (please do go higher..go for at least 30) you are safe from the damages of the sun – you are not. My favorite sunscreen and the number one dermatology recommended is Neutrogena. You can’t go wrong with this brand when it comes to protecting your skin. But is sunscreen enough to protect you from the sun? When I was both in Greece, Italy and Miami I wore sunscreen daily and reapplied at least twice a day. In my opinion, that still was not enough. Some freckles still appeared and sun damage was probably still taking place.

This spring break the worst area of my body that got sunburned was my hands and feet because no one had ever taught me (or reminded me) that sunscreen needed to be applied in hands and feet as well. When you get older, sunspots appear most often on your hands. Avoid ruining your hands by wearing and reapplying sunscreen there especially.

IMG_5242SOLUTION:

So what else can be done? I bought a very cute wide brimmed hat in Paros, Greece and have worn it ever since. It’s stylish, diva-esque and ensures that my shoulders, face and chest (the most vulnerable parts of the body) are protected at all times. No one says that you have to look bad when wearing a hat. Just add a bit of character to your look by spending some money on a nice and fashionable hat.

If you think it’s too late for you and you’ve done all the damage in the last 22 years – you’re wrong. Research proves that 25% of skin damage is done before the age of 20. That means you are still in time to stop the other 75% of the damage that is to come. And that is a lot..so start getting on it now.

I know many don’t think that it is important to take care of their skin now because they are young and their beautiful youthful skin will last them forever. But everything comes to an end at one point and although you might not be able to see the sun damage on your skin now. It’s there. It’s just under your skin. As soon as our skin ages and starts to lose control of its melatonin production, our body will begin to show signs of skin damage as it rises to the surface. So please, take care of your skin. The truth is, no one cares how tan you look or can get. But you and other people might start to care about how your skin looks like 20 years from now when it’s either patchy, full of freckles, white spots from melatonin depletion and wrinkled…or…healthy, vibrant, a few freckles here and there (because hey, everybody makes mistakes at one point in their lives, we are human after all), and beautiful.

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