There are reasons why you might want to give your face sun protection, and reasons why you may not. Let's start with the reasons not to give your face sun protection. They're not really very good reasons but we seem rather attached to them. One, the sun feels good on our face, especially if we've come from a cold weather location to a warm weather location.
Or if we've been skiing and decided to take a break on the sun deck to catch a few rays. Another reason is that a sun tanned face is a healthy looking face, at least in most cultures. Granted, we do need our vitamin D, and the sun is the best source of that important vitamin. Plus, being out in the fresh air is healthy, there's no denying that.
When we're talking about giving your face sun protection, what we're really talking about is avoiding too much sun exposure. What is too much will vary somewhat from person to person. In general, lighter skinned people are at a somewhat greater risk of becoming overexposed to the sun. There are at least two very good reasons to give your face sun protection, one is called wrinkles, and the other is called cancer.
There are two types of skin cancer one can get from overexposure to the sun, one being melanoma and the other being a non-melanoma type. Melanoma is by far the most serious, but neither cancer is nice to have. As far as wrinkles are concerned, they often occur later in life, though usually earlier than we would normally expect them when the face has been overexposed to the elements, particularly the sun.
We not only should consider giving our own face sun protection, but encourage others to do so as well, and set an example for our children in the process. There are a number of things that can be done to keep sun exposure within reasonable limits. We're not talking major lifestyle changes here, unless your lifestyle centers around sunbathing, but about some changes in habits, or new habits one can work on in the name of healthy skin.
Sunscreen Is A Must - One of the more obvious approaches to protecting the face is the use of sunscreen. Don't confuse sunscreen with tanning oils. Sunscreens are not quite the same as sun blocks, which are designed to give complete protection. Sunscreens are designed to give sufficient protection and usually need to be reapplied frequently, especially if one is going into and out of the water, or one is perspiring freely. Sunscreens have an SPF factor. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection. An SPF of 15+ is about the lowest you can use that is effective.
An SPF of 30+ is better, and if you're going to be active at all while out in the sun, an SPF of 45+ is better yet. For the best protection, apply the lotion the first time a few minutes before going out in the sun. After that, consider reapplying every 30 to 45 minutes on the average. Make certain young children are using the lotion as well. Don't forget lip balm either. You'll probably have to apply lip balm slightly more often than sunscreen as the SPF factor is usually lower.
Don't Forget The Hat - Consider wearing a hat. A baseball or jogging cap helps some, at least protecting your forehead, but a wide brimmed hat, preferably on the floppy side is much better, Floppiness is a matter of taste of course, but a floppy hat seems more comfortable, or at least looks that way. Cowboy hats are excellent, but seem out of place in many places, like the beach, and can be a problem if it's very windy. Make sure the youngsters wear hats too, something with a brim. They usually don't mind doing so and will easily fall into a habit of wearing them.
Take Advantage Of Shade - Another thing you can do is take advantage of the shade. Sitting under an umbrella doesn't make you a sissy. You'll probably be more comfortable, and intelligent people will also recognize you as being smarter than average as well. There's no need to spend all afternoon in deep shade when the sun is out. Just recognize that shade is for the most part more helpful than harmful. Sunscreen, shade, and hats. Three things that can give you plenty of protection, without seeming to be a hassle. Good habits to get into.