The year was 1997, and Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) was the anthem of the summer. I can recall so many of the lyrics like I listened to them yesterday, and yet, it’s been over 15 years.
I am old.
Baz doled out advice to the emerging generations, often offering pearls of wisdom while chastising us at the same time. But the very beginning of the essay began with the following, well-meaning words:
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97: Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists,
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.”
Well friends, it’s officially Fall. And I want to ask you something… Are You Wearing Sunscreen?
Statistically, the answer is likely no. Because most Canadians associate sun protection with the summer months, and unless they have an SPF built into their daily moisturizer, will bypass the option to slather it on. But would you like to hear another statistic?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers. Most of us are exposed to large amounts of UVA throughout our lifetime because they are 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB rays. UVA rays are the same strength year round and penetrate clouds & glass.
Translation: You still need to wear sunscreen while driving to and from work on a rainy day. OUCH.
Another eye opener: In winter, UV rays still occur and can reflect off snow. The colder seasons mean the ozone layer is thinning out. So, there is less ozone in our atmosphere to absorb the sun’s UV radiation. Even though it feels colder outside, there’s actually more of the sun’s harmful rays hitting the earth’s surface and, yes, your skin.
All this information is making me terribly depressed. Because I’ll admit it; I only wear sunscreen when I’m outdoors for an extended period of time over the summer months. So it’s plainly obvious that I feel like a complete a**hole lecturing y’all on the finer points of sunscreen application when I have much to learn myself….