WINDOW FILM – OUR SKIN’S NEW BEST FRIEND
Welcome to WELLNESS WEDNESDAY everyone. The month of July has been a hot one for most of us across the country. But, most of us know how to protect ourselves and our skin when frolicking in the sun. Hats, sunglasses, protective clothing and sunblock are essential tools when enjoying the long, hot, sunny days of summer. They help mitigate the harmful UV rays from the sun as they protect us from premature aging and skin cancer.
But, do you know that even when you’re indoors you are exposed to the damaging effects of solar radiation?
People tell me all the time that they never wear sunscreen because they work in an office building all day. Some tell me they don’t worry about skin cancer because their job requires driving every day in a car. And, some claim that working as flight attendants keep them out of the sun and in the protective space of an airplane.
Now, while everyday windows block most of the sun’s ultraviolet B rays (UVB), most ultraviolet A rays (UVA) rays pass right through. And, it’s the UVA rays that penetrate deeply into our skin damaging the DNA, accelerating skin aging and leading to skin cancer.
So, even if you’re sitting at home gazing out the window at the garden, driving to the grocery store, or working by a window at the office, you may be suffering continual skin damage that can lead to skin cancer.
Now, as a survivor of three different cancers – including skin cancer – this is a subject very close to my heart. So, today let’s focus on “indoor damage” and the ways in which we can protect our skin even when we’re not in direct sunlight.
FIRST THE FACTS:
According to the SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION:
1) Chronic exposure to UVA rays through windows may accelerate skin aging by 5 to 7 years.
2) More than 90 percent of skin cancers and skin aging are caused by the UV rays of the sun — outdoors and indoors.
3) Indoor workers stationed near windows have more wrinkled and sagging skin on the side of their face closer to the windows.
4) Drivers in the United States have more skin cancers on the left side of their faces. Drivers in Australia have more skin cancers on the right.
Fortunately, there is a rather easy fix for this chronic indoor exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. And, it comes in the form of WINDOW FILM.
Once again, according to the SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION, transparent window film is the best safeguard for protection from indoor UV damage.
You see, in cars only the windshield offers both UVB and UVA protection. The side and back windows, which are not protected, allow more than 60 percent of UVA rays into the vehicle. Accordingly, infants and other family members who often sit in the back of the car have no protection from glass-filtered UVA rays. Not even the darker glass often found in mini-vans and SUVs offers adequate UVA protection.
But, adding transparent films to your vehicle’s windows will screen out more than 99 percent of both UVA and UVB rays without reducing visibility. And, UV absorbing auto window film reduces skin cell death by 93 percent.
Of course, the same is true for building windows. UV screening film for residential and commercial sites is available for your home and office. The film is created by adding UV absorbers to clear or tinted vinyl or polyester and is then applied to the interior surface of the window. It comes in a variety of tints and still allows 30 to 80 percent of visible light to get through – while offering protection from daily UV exposure.
There are lots of providers offering solutions for your window film needs and many now carry the SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION’s SEAL OF RECOMMENDATION, which offers assurance of safety and effectiveness.
In addition to WINDOW FILMS, however, don’t forget the BASICS:
1) ALWAYS use a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher – outdoors AND indoors.
2) Protective clothing – shirts with long sleeves and pants that cover your legs – will go a long way in preventing UV damage to arms and legs on the window side of your vehicle.
3) Take extra precautions in convertibles or vehicles with sunroofs. Wear wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection AND wear a hat to protect your head and neck.
Thanks again everyone for joining me! Sun protection is a year-round exercise. And, it doesn’t end just because you’re indoors. Practicing Simple Sun-Sense every day will help keep you and yours Safe, Happy & Healthy 😊
Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .
- There are many Window Film manufacturers that have earned the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation. But, just to get you started here are three worth checking out: