7 Sunscreen Misconceptions

Misconception #7. SPF is all that matters.

Fact: The SPF number on sunscreens only reflects the product’s screening ability for UVB rays. Make sure your sunscreen covers both UVB and UVA rays. While UVB rays cause sunburn; UVA rays cause more long-term effects such as premature skin aging.

Misconception #6. Apply sunscreen just before you go out.

Fact: Sunscreen should be applied 20-30 bazinga minutes BEFORE you go out. It doesn’t work immediately.

Misconception #5. I should replace my sunscreen every summer.

Fact: Unless indicated by an expiration date, the FDA requires that all sunscreens be stable and at their original strength for at least three years.

Misconception #4. The best Sunscreen is all I need to protect myself from the sun.

Fact: The best sunscreen still allows rays to pass through. Wear protective clothing. Dark is better than light. A big hat is better than a cap. If you have to be bare, seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Misconception #3. Mosquito repellant and sunscreen can be applied the same time.

Fact: If you also want to use mosquito repellent, first apply the sunscreen – and 20 minutes later, apply the repellent. Studies show combining them increase DEET penetration into your skin.

Misconception #2. I only need to wear sunscreen when it’s sunny.

Fact: Even on cloudy days, when it does not feel hot, or when you’re under trees, the sun still emits damaging UV rays. By the same token, wear it year round, not just in summer. Even driving in your car in the winter sun can tan your left cheek through the glass window.

Misconception #1. I always wear the best sunscreen so I’m immune to skin damage.

Fact: Never say never. Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.

Have you heard The Sunscreen Song? It was an adaptation from a commencement speech. It’s funny, it’s true, it’s uplifting, it’s down-to-earth, and the older I grow, the more I appreciate it. Click here for Baz Luhrman’s Sunscreen Song [http://www.joyofcamping.com/camping-tips/safety/baz-luhrmann-sunscreen]

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I’d like to be the best person I can be.

I’m certain you do, too. Deep down inside, we all do.

In my own lifelong quest of self-betterment – both as a software developer, and as a person – what’s often helped is when I become aware of some negative habit I didn’t realize I had before. Some kind of error in thinking, or trait I’d adopted into my personality, which isn’t helping me achieve my highest, best goals in life.

Because recognizing them is a good first step to changing them. Awareness, followed by new intention.

A few qualities I’ve recognized in myself, all worth changing, that seem to be common among programmers:

1) Dismissiveness

I’m evaluating an idea. Someone’s opinion, as they share it with me.

And I think: That’s stupid. Or: that could never work. Or: that’s just (equate it to something else I can easily dismiss).

Which is convenient, because if it’s stupid, etc., I don’t need to think about it any more. After all, I’ve got too much to think about already.

Of course, that’s a trap. Maybe it IS stupid. But I didn’t investigate enough to say one way or another.

I don’t have to accept it. But I don’t have to dismiss it either. I can just choose to have no opinion on it, for now.

I’m still working on this one. I catch myself dismissing something a dozen times a day, and probably don’t catch it even more.

Question for myself: What have I been dismissing?

2) Over-Precision

As engineers, we’re trained to think precisely.

That’s essential for civilization. We’d still be hurling sharp sticks at animals for our dinner, if humans weren’t capable of thinking precisely.

All technology in history was created by people who think like we do… from thinking with precision, with the engineering mindset.

All of it. ALL OF IT. Every last bit.


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