Column: Protect your skin for lifelong benefits

Maria Baldwin, Assistant Sports Editor


With spring break just around the corner, a lot of students on campus are getting ready and packing their bags for a week spent at the beach without a worry in the world.

Most students on campus, however, are forgetting to pack one crucial element. Sunblock.

The harm the sun’s rays can do to your skin in one week without sunblock can cause a slew of problems that are potentially lifelong, and potentially deadly.

Trust me, I can’t wait to hit the beach this spring break and get my tan on, but one can still achieve that beautiful glow without the burning lobster-redness of those who refuse to protect their skin.

When you get a suntan, it is due to the body’s defense mechanism against the sun’s ultra-violet rays.

The defense mechanism, melanin, absorbs the rays and dissipates it as heat.

When melanin is overwhelmed with rays, however, that is when you get a sun burn.

Just put it this way, melanin acts like a natural sunblock for your skin, and when your body senses the danger of the rays, it puts more and more melanin cells to the surface as you get darker and darker.

Hence, this is why you often feel depleted and tired after being in the sun all day. It’s because your body was fighting off the UV rays!

Therefore, if one wears sunblock, they will still get a nice tan, without the burn!

Your skin will thank you for it later when it’s not in pain and has a nice spring-break glow.

One main reason everyone should spray on the sunblock is that not only do sunburns hurt, look terrible, and peel off, they cause lifelong trauma to your skin and your internal organs.

The ozone layer is depleting and your body needs shielding from harmful rays, and skin cancer rates are on the rise.

Sunblock has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer.

 Sunblock also helps to prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations, it reduces the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness, and wearing sunblock slows down the development of wrinkled, premature aging skin.

Purchasing sunblock may be difficult because of the variety, but Dr. Oz says that SPF 100 is a waste of your money.

Try an SPF 25 or 50. These two are very similar to SPF 100 and will save you money.

For those of you who are, like me, excited to get a tan glow at the beach, many tanning oils and lotions are available with SPF powers added into them to protect your skin from burning.

The lifelong benefits of wearing sunblock include beautiful skin later in life, free of wrinkles, aging, and sunspots.

The potential risks of not wearing sunblock are so severe that they include cancer and death.

You wouldn’t want to risk this, especially when you’ve worked so hard this semester just to get some time off your feet to relax.

Lay back and enjoy yourself in the sun and sand, just be prepared for the potential hazards that not wearing sunscreen can give you, and lather it up.

Maria Baldwin is a sophomore mass communications and public relations major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].