Shun the Sun for Great Skin
Teens, if you want great skin now - and 10 years from now - then shun the sun, or you'll have wrinkled, cancer-prone skin.
No Teen Wants Old Skin
Prevent wrinkles now? More than 80% of the signs of skin aging -- the lines
and wrinkles you see in your parents -- are the result of the tans they had as
teens before the age of 18. Chemist Ben Kaminsky, author of the skin-care guide
Beyond Botox, knows all about helping skin of all ages look its best. As
a chemist, Kaminsky makes lotions and creams for teens and adults that help to
cleanse, repair, nourish and protect the skin.
"Sunscreens are the mainstay of sunburn prevention," says Kaminsky, "and
many factors influence the effectiveness of a sunscreen, including your skin
type, when you put on the product, the amount you apply, and the time of day
you go out -- early, midday or late in the day. The sunscreen's value will also
depend on the thickness of the skin and the type of skin -- fair, olive, or
Kaminsky says to put on sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go out into
the sun. Put it on once more every 2 hours, especially after swimming or
Catch Rays ... But Just a Few
It's OK to get some sun to give yourself ample vitamin D, which works to
build strong bones and boost your immune system to keep you well. That said,
milk and other foods are fortified with vitamin D, so you don't need much time
in the sun to fill your body's needs.
How much time in the sun is healthy? "It's hard to tell how much sun you
really need," says Dr. Hornung, "Ten to 15 minutes of sun a few times a week is
What about slowly building a "base tan," to protect your skin from long days
at the beach? Dr. Hornung says it won't protect your skin. "Even if you want to
build a base tan before hitting the beach," she says, "the SPF protection value
of the base tan is small. It's not the best way to guard against a future
Also, whether you get your tan slowly as a base tan or all in one week, the
studies show that tanned skin increases the risk of sun damage.