"See, we've got grown folks using Baby Magic to make their skin feel like a one-year-old's. There's that thick, Keri lotion for those with real ashy knees and elbows. Or if you're skin is really dry, there's that Palmer's Cocoa Butter that comes in a jar, and you don't squeeze it out, but you dip your fingers in and scoop it and slap it on. Or maybe you're one of those people who put baby oil on like you're planning to go out in the sun and sauté yourself. Yet talk to a brother or a sister girl about using sunscreen and they're like, what're you telling me about sunscreen for? I ain't white. But let me tell you what the people at the American Cancer Society told me. Black folks get sunburned too. You know how you can be out I the sun for a minute and you come back in and your auntie or your cousin or somebody will say, woo, child, you done got black! It means you've been sunburned. Instead of turning red like fairer-skinned people, dark-complexioned folks get blacker."Touche. So, this summer, please, please, please take the extra steps to protect yourself. Although I feel like I'm suddenly sounding like a contraceptive commercial, protection and early detection is key. Here's a few tips.... Don't be ASHamed, slather it on Doctor's recommend a nickel-sized amount for your face and two shot-glasses-worth for your body. Keep in mind you should slather it on EVERYWHERE even if you are wearing a swim suit. And you should do so at least 20 minutes before you venture out into the sun (Or clouds for that matter. Just because the sun isn't out, doesn't mean it's not there.) Just reminisce on how your mom used to oil you down your knees and elbows when you were young. Do it again....and again....and again Just because you put it on once, doesn't mean your immune for the rest of the day. You should reapply at least every 90 minutes. And, like the genius I know you are, you'll definitely want to reapply after you take a dip in the pool or ocean. Yup, EVERYTIME! There's a formula to it. UVA. UVB. Blah. Blah. Blah. I was never a fan of science, but turns out this is a science lesson you don't want to miss. It's important that you ensure you have the correct formula of sunscreen. UVA rays are responsible for the aging effect of the sun; however, overexposure to UVB rays can cause skin cancer so you'll want to buy something with "UVA/UVB" with "broad-spectrum" protection. You'll also want to choose an SPF of about 30 or more. The SPF gives you an idea of how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For example, if you use an SPF of 30, you can stay outside 30 times longer without burning. I recommend Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Face Lotion SPF 30 - 3 oz and Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Spray - 5.0 oz. You may be extra sensitive If being a girl wasn't hard enough, certain medications such as birth control, certain antibiotics, blood pressure medicine can make you super sensitive to the sun and up your vulnerability. And before you go crazy on margaritas, certain foods such as limes, lemons, celery, carrots, figs, parsley, parsnips and other vegetables that contain furocoumarins may also cause you to be sensitive. The sun interacts with these chemicals and causes blotchy dark spots that take months to fade. Don't Forget Your Smoocher Remember the whole swollen lip thing? Turns out my lip was sunburned. Yikes is right. Be sure to use a lip gloss with SPF, as well as a sunscreen lip balm. It, too, should be reapplied regularly. Try Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50 .15 oz (4.25 g). ....And if you DO get burned..... Accidents are bound to happen, so if you do get burned find the nearest aloe vera plant and reapply, reapply, reapply. This will help heal the damaged skin without leaving scarring. Also, be sure you keep your skin moisturized to help prevent peeling. My favorite lotion? Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, Fragrance Free - 16 fl oz.
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