By Capt. Mike Myers
The Sun: Can you remember, back in the day, when suntan lotion was twice as abundant on store shelves as sunscreen? I’ll bet if you’re over the age of 40 you can. I feel that I was very fortunate to have spent my entire teen years in the 1980s, when the youth of our great nation spent twice as much time out in the sun, baking themselves to a golden brown, as they did watching television. Back then being “cool” was all the rage — and slathering on sunscreen to go to the beach with your buddies was considered very “uncool.” Looking back now, I just can’t believe that we didn’t learn from the naïveté of the skin cancer-ridden generations before us, but we didn’t. Unfortunately, due to our lack of knowledge during that timeframe; many of us (myself included) are now coping with the consequences of being “cool.” Thank God science has made such incredible advancements in the skincare field over the last 20 years. The media has also really stepped up its game by helping increase awareness to the masses on the dangers of prolonged, unprotected sun exposure. It is really uncool to go out and get fried by the sun anymore.
Getting a tan, all-in-all, is not a bad thing — we get vitamin D, which is very important to our health and well-being, from sunlight. But getting burned over and over is not only bad for us, it can and does cause life-threatening diseases. There are no longer any excuses to not use sun protection in this day and age. Companies like Tropical Seas, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic and Bullfrog, just to name a few, all provide products that will fit your needs. If you are just one of those people who is too cool to put on sunscreen, try other options. There are lots of companies, including our own local RedZone Apparel, that specialize in UPF shirts that block the harmful rays of the sun. There are glove companies that specialize in protecting your hands and companies that produce breathable, lightweight masks to protect your face, nose, neck and ears — the parts of you that get the worst beating from the sun. Protecting yourself is easy, affordable and an absolute must. Not protecting yourself is not only uncool, it’s downright stupid, so please do yourself and your loved ones a favor and protect yourself when you’re out in the sunlight — it’s worth the extra effort.
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