So, you had Mitchell Custom Pools build one of the nicest luxury pools in Houston, sprang for the outdoor kitchen, tanning deck and that fancy waterfall—naturally,you’re going to want to bask in the sun on a float in your brand new pool right? Of course,we’re right—having a custom pool design is based on fun in the sun, making memories with family, epic cookouts with some Texas brisket and perfecting that tan line.
We care about our customers—how they feel about the pools we build them, the enjoyment they get from it, but we also care about their health. It’s why we always make sure to include information about skin cancer and sunscreen in our pool safety orientations for new pool owners.
Why Is Sunscreen Important?
Now, being the leading builder of luxury pools in Houston, we design a lot of tanning decks for our clients, but we are very adamant inadvising on the dangers of too much tanning. The reason is that whenyou tan, you are exposing your skin to UV rays that can have a lot of harmful effects if overexposed.
Aside from superficial problems like accelerated aging, leathery skin and sunspots— excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun can also cause various forms of skin cancer to develop and spread. Skin cancers are more prevalent now than they have ever been; it is estimated that one of five Americans will get skin cancer to some degree and sadly, skin cancer will kill over 13,000 people in 2018.
It is estimated that about 92% of the time, the risk of skin cancer is correlated to the amount of time exposed to UV rays from the sun with no protection. UV rays from the sun are not inherently bad, just overexposure is. UV rays actually are good in small doses because it provides vitamin D. Fortunately you can mitigate your exposure to excessive UV rays with sunscreen.
What Is In Sunscreen?
Sunscreen has a combination of several ingredients that function in different ways to filter or block a certain percentage of UV rays. Chemical substances such as PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) and cinnamates absorb the sun’s UV rays and converts them into heat energy. Physical substances such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide actually deflect the UV rays and diffuse them before they can penetrate your skin. The right sunscreen for you depends on a few factors.
Choosing The Right Sunscreen
The kind of sunscreen you need will depend on some basic factors that will determine what kind to get. But first,you need to know what strength of sunscreen is needed for the situation. If you are only going to experience incidental sun exposure; such as walking outside from shop to shop and being in the sun for minutes at a time— sun protection factor (SPF) of about 15-20 should suffice. This will filter out about 93% of UV rays. The sunscreen you use should also have broad-spectrumprotection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB ranges of the sun’s light spectrum.
If you are going to be getting extended or intense exposure such as swimming, surfing, or randomly playing beach volleyball shirtless in jeans giving it your best Top Gun impression— you’ll want to go with a water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or more. This will block out over 96% of UV rays.
It’s also important to consider the ingredients that are in sunscreen as some can contain irritants, allergens, andother ingredients some groups of people may be affected by. In general,follow these practical guidelines:
- For Children: Some sunscreens contain chemicals that can irritate children’s skin, which is often more sensitive than adults. The most common offenders—PABA and oxybenzone are known to cause adverse skin reactions. Physical substances such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide tend to be gentler on the skin. Honestly, the bigger challenge for children and sunscreen—getting them to agree to wear it. Try good sunscreens that are designed for children in bottles with bright colors or spray applicators. One note, do not spray directly on the face, rather spray on your hands and then work into the face, avoiding the eyes.
- Persons With Allergies Or Chronic Acne: If you have a sensitivity to allergens already or are acne-prone—stay away from sunscreens with fragrances or preservatives added. Also,make sure to use PABA-free products—they can irritate the skin in those with allergies. Use physical sunscreens if possible as they do not irritate the skin.
- For Dry Skin: Dry skin really needs a sunscreen combines with a moisturizer such as lanolin, coconut oil and silicone-based moisturizers like dimethicone. Often these sunscreens will have the words cream or ointment on the label.
- Fair Skin: This one is a no-brainer—if you’re fair skinned and don’t want to turn into a lobster in 20 minutes of exposure, you have to go max protection—that means SPF 50 which pretty much guarantees no tan for you. The upside though—when those who tan daily are 40 and looking like they are 60—you will still be looking young (assuming you don’t smoke). The more UV rays you are exposed to when tanning, the quicker your skin ages, usually far beyond your actual age.
- For Dark Skin: Just because you have darker skin and tan easily, doesn’t mean you don’t still need sunscreen. Keep in mind, a tan is essentially just the “light beer” of sunburns— browns great, less redding—but seriously, it still damages your skin so grab a sunscreen with SPF 15 at the very least.
- For The Elderly: Even though you’ve lived through a lot and may have already had significant exposure to UV rays over a lifetime—sunscreen is still important. Unprotected exposure to UV rays increases your chance of skin cancer and does the opposite of anti-aging products. If you want to stay young as possible, put some 50 SPF on and enjoy the pool.
Got Your Sunscreen Ready But No Pool?
It’s never too late to start shopping for luxury pools in Houston. Mitchell custom pools can design a luxury pool for you within any realistic budget. Whether you need a pool and outdoor living area, or a pool and garden landscape designed—Mitchell has the oasis you’ve dreamed of, ready to be built in your backyard. Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s put that sunscreen to use!