I always assumed that in recent years sun protection was the norm. Tanning beds are slowly becoming “uncool” and faux tans are the choice of most people these days. This is why I was shocked to see the results of a survey commissioned by Aveeno and Neutrogena.
Seems I was mistaken!
I had someone close to me who I really believe was addicted to tanning. She was so tanned that she started to look a different nationality than she was and when I hadn’t seen her in a while I barely recognized her. Thankfully she no longer visits tanning salons or is a sun worshiper but I still worry for her the consequences of this behavior may have yet to surface.
In the diagnostic statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association, tanning as an addictive behaviour is now considered a psychological disorder.
I wasn’t surprised with this new piece of information. Dr. Richard Fried is a board certified dermatologist and clinical psychologist at Yardley Dermatology Associates. This addictive behaviour is one that he unfortunately sees all the time.
“We have learned that people get a biological buzz from the sun, because survival instinct draws us to things that make us feel good. Say your childhood memories in the sun are positive, when you think about the sights, the smells, the sounds of the beach— you may be in that subgroup that gets high from the sun. Studies show that if you give people who go to the tanning salon to feel good a medicine that blocks opiates, they don’t get high.”
This insight is so interesting and I can see why it can be a problem especially with those that are younger and aren’t as concerned about aging. It may be a superficial reason to protect your skin, but those of us concerned about looking older than we really are seem to be the only group taking preventative action against the real risk of skin cancer.
Aveeno and Neutrogena are encouraging everyone to use an SPF of at least 30. If you know you’ll be out in the sun all day then I would suggest going higher with an SPF 60. Better safe than sorry right?
The Aveeno Protect + Hydrate sunscreen for face and body has been what I’ve been using daily. It’s very lightweight and really hydrates my skin. I haven’t used this on my face however, only my body; as you all know my skin is very sensitive to break outs and I didn’t want to risk it as my face reacts to most sunscreen lotions. I actually carry this with me in my purse so I can reapply to my exposed skin throughout the day – especially my hands after hand washing!
Neutrogena recently launched their Clear Face Sunscreen in Canada which is the first sunscreen in Canada approved by Health Canada to not cause breakouts. I’ve only started using this so I can’t really say if it works for me yet but I absolutely love the super light texture it provides. It also leaves a nice matte finish texture and no white tint (on me at least!).
I will admit…in my youth sun protection wasn’t the most important thing on my mind. While I wouldn’t say I was a sun worshiper, being Canadian and growing up exposed to mostly the North American “standard of beauty” led me to believe that in order to look healthy and pretty I needed to be tanned. Now that I’m older the shade of my skin is probably one the last things on my mind. I’ve gotten into the healthy habit of applying sunscreen to my face daily (even in the Winter) and I try to use a sunscreen + moisturizing product on my body.
Do you have good sun protection habits? Were you surprised at the stats I posted and how tanning could be an actual addiction?