National Sunscreen Day (also known as “Don’t Fry Day”) happens on May 28 and is the perfect time to recognize the danger that comes with going to the beach, the lake, even the backyard. These and other traditional sunbathing spots, considered harmless in the past, now carry a yellow flag of warning against skin cancer and other ill effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. On National Sunscreen Day, rub and absorb that lotion, cream, or spray before enjoying the warmth and light of summer. The higher the sun protection factor (SPF) in your product, the better. Chances are if you don’t know the right balance of SPF to protect yourself and still get the tan you want, a friend will. If they ask why, just say, “Don’t fry!”
History of National Sunscreen Day
Believe or not (ask a Boomer or a Gen-X-er), even up to the 1980s, there were dozens if not hundreds of “bronzers” and “suntan lotions” on the market that not only didn’t block UV rays before they hit your skin but were designed to enhance the sun’s effect, granting a deep tan in the shortest amount of time possible. Attribute it to a thicker ozone layer back then, or a simple lack of scientific knowledge, but there was no buzz at all surrounding the acronym “SPF.”
Today, we know the true dangers of the sun’s rays (and those of UV tanning beds) and the carcinoma and melanoma we could be afflicted with if we lack proper protection. It was only recently that the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated a special day to learn about how we can protect ourselves. In short, your health should come before that “copper tone.”
Easily enough to guess, sunscreen is the number one weapon in the battle against UV-caused skin cancers. If you have to get that golden tan, make sure to conscientiously apply an SPF 30 or comparable product. Then, jump into the fun of summer, knowing you’re protected!