...but we should all be more vigilant about it. Not only does sunscreen protect you from getting sunburned, which in turn helps prevent certain types of skin cancer, but a new study shows that daily sunscreen use does indeed seem to protect against skin aging. If the thought of looking like Magda in There's Something About Mary terrifies you, here are some ways to get more sunscreen into your life (and onto your skin).
A head's up: These aren't replacements for putting on sunscreen, but tips for girls who know they've been slacking in the SPF department. Your best bet: Slap on the stuff, period.
Mix sunscreen into your body lotion
Fancy body lotions are so smooth and fragrant that they’re actually fun to apply — unlike sunscreen, which can be heavy and sticky. Right after your morning shower, squeeze a dollop of lotion and a dollop of sunscreen into your palm. Mix thoroughly and apply everywhere on your body. It may feel like you’re just moisturizing, but you’re getting your SPF on, too.
Eat your sunscreen
Natural wellness practitioners claim that certain foods reduce your risk of sun exposure from the inside. Worth a shot, right? Stock your diet with leafy greens, watermelon, coconut oil, salmon, pomegranate, green tea, raw chocolate, and lots and lots of tomatoes; the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in these foods help prevent skin damage. In fact, a study showed that eating lycopene-rich tomato paste on the reg helped prevent sunburn and reduce wrinkles.
Wash sunscreen into your clothes
Simply wearing clothes isn’t enough — the sun can blaze right through filmy white t-shirts and light sundresses. But it’s 2013, and you can now wash your clothes in sun protectant. Honest. SunGuard makes a fabric treatment to be used in the wash that will give your clothes a SPF of about 30 (to put this in perspective, a white t-shirt’s SPF is 5). The protectant will last through 20 laundry cycles, according to SunGuard.
Try a sunscreen powder...or mist or spray
There’s more to sunscreen these days than just a smear of zinc oxide on the nose. We’ve got sunscreen powders that double as face powders, sunscreen mists, and sunscreen sticks that even double as foundation. Find a product that makes sunscreen application feel like another enjoyable part of your beauty routine, rather than an irritating obligation.
Freak Yourself Out
Sometimes scare tactics are the best tactics. When it comes to your health, maybe it’s time for a little reality check. Whether you need to research skin cancer statistics, Google “bad sunburns,” or paste that photo of Magda on your bathroom window, find a way to really teach yourself the importance of sun protection. Suddenly sunscreen’s not just a chore, it’s a lifesaver.