Protect Yourself from the Sun with "Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap"

small 7Whether you’re enjoying your UC Davis spring break skiing up in the mountains or sitting by the pool at your Tandem apartment, we want to make sure you are protecting yourself from too much sun. Don’t get us wrong, we love to sun worship. We’re writing this outside on a sunny spot on a freshly mowed lawn. The sun lifts our spirits and makes tomatoes grow faster. But it will also give you burns, wrinkles, spots, and eventually skin cancer. A little prevention now will save you a lot of heartache later.

Skin cancer is an equal opportunity killer, so why do so few men use sunscreen every day? (Ahem, I’m talking to you, dear.) I don’t know. It seems a far better alternative than having precancerous cells burned off your face with liquid nitrogen twice a year.

Regardless, the smart sun worshiper will take the advice of the American Cancer Society:

You don’t have to avoid sunlight completely, and it would be unwise to reduce your level of activity by avoiding the outdoors, because physical activity is important for good health. But too much sunlight can be harmful. There are some steps you can take to limit your exposure to UV rays.

Some people think about sun protection only when they spend a day at the lake, beach, or pool. But sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time you are in the sun.

Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure. If you are going to be in the sun, “Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap” is a catch phrase that can help you remember some of the key steps you can take to protect yourself from UV rays:

  • Slip on a shirt.
  • Slop on sunscreen.
  • Slap on a hat.
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them.

Pretty easy, huh? And don’t give me that old I-get-a-rash-from-sunscreen excuse. In that case, substitute your chemical sunscreen for a physical sunblock. Reject products with the active ingredients of oxybenzone, octyl salicylate, or octyl methoxycinnamate and substitute products whose only active ingredient is either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Many of these products absorb into your skin invisibly so there’s no embarrassing “lifeguard’s nose.” Some even come in colors so you can streak your skin in a rainbow of protection.

If you want more information, we suggest this quick and easy read at the American Melanoma Foundation.

Not sure how sun safe you are? Take this quick quiz from the American Cancer Society and see how much you really know about sun safety.


Image credits: Tandem Properties,