Some might say that one of the last things southern about Atlanta is our sun. In the exuberance of becoming one of the world’s great cities for art, commerce, and enterprise, we sometimes forget that we share the same latitude as Casablanca, Morocco. Our lifestyles contribute further to our sun exposure, and taken all together, our extra vulnerability here to UV radiation makes the summer sun a thing.

The effects of summer sun on the skin’s appearance are summarized as premature aging. This umbrella term is used for dryness, lines and fissures, age spots, and crows’ feet from squinting, among other signals of the sun’s damage. We have solutions for every one of these bothersome penalties, but here we would like to pass along a few ideas about prevention.

Preventing the cosmetic effects of sun damage is one level of concern, but let’s face it, the most serious reason of all to adapt with caution to Atlanta’s summer sun is skin cancer. The stakes are as high as they come. On the one hand, your skin is the body’s largest organ by far, doing many more jobs than people commonly appreciate, including playing a role in the metabolism. On the other hand, skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer – and the most preventable.

Common Sense Fashion Sense

Hats have made a comeback among men, and they remain a go-to accessory for women. But with what we know now about the effects of lifetime sun exposure, they’re a style worth considering for practical reasons, too. Choosing a great-looking hat and wearing it is a small price to pay for healthier skin and greater skin cancer protection. Sleeves and trousers, too, have a place in the summer wardrobe of folks who take a conscious approach to the fundamental element of beauty – good health.

We can take a lesson from those generations who spent their lives outdoors. A shirt doesn’t have to be short to be summer. The comfort of chambray was invented for sailors who work in the hot sun, so it’s capable of keeping you cool and covered at the same time. Seersucker was invented in sweltering parts of India to serve the same purpose. With the right fabrics, you don’t have to sacrifice coverage for comfort.

Makeup with UV protection is today as good as any cosmetic-only style, and so it, too, is an element that is finding its way into the daily routine of smart women everywhere. And you knew we were going to bring up sunscreen. Have you made it a habit yet? It’s time. SPF 30 is good; 50 is better. Let’s get with it. It’s about staying alive to enjoy the outdoors longer in years, not in hours.

The Shadow Rule

Awareness also plays a role in prevention when you choose the time of day for your outdoor activities. The shadow rule is simple. If your shadow is shorter than you are, then you are in the peak intensity of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

UV is a piece of the light spectrum, and light sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe it would put UV radiation in a more attention-getting perspective if we gave it its full name – ultraviolet radiation. It’s part of the electromagnetic spectrum of energy. Fact is, UV makes up about 10% of what we get from the sun, and its ultra-low-frequency profile – just this side of X-rays – makes it a hazard we human beings would be well-advised to avoid.

Self-examination should be part of our shower routine, and yet, are we willing to bet our lives on our own ability to distinguish a mole from the opening act of melanoma? A professional once-over, at least once a year, from a board-certified dermatologist is basic insurance for healthy skin. Let us offer you this resource. We’ll be happy to be on your side in the work of staying safe and lovely in the light of Atlanta’s summer sun.