As we eagerly await the arrival of spring and the much-anticipated return of the sun, it’s crucial to remember the importance of practicing safe sun habits. While it may seem like the sun neglects us for most of the year, its rays can still have a significant impact on our skin health. That’s why The Wellness Center is thrilled to invite you all to a FREE event on Safe Sun at The Wellness Center on Wednesday, March 27th at noon. This event is in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health and promises to be filled with valuable information on sun safety, skin health, and resources available in our area.

Living in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, we are no strangers to long, cold winters where the sun often hides behind clouds. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sunscreen is only necessary during the summer months or when we’re lounging on vacations. However, UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds and cause damage to our skin every day, even on overcast days. This is why it’s essential to make safe sun practices a year-round habit.

As we start to take our skin health and sun safety more seriously, we need to start talking about it too. Talking about health and precautions can be awkward or uncomfortable for some, so here are some tips for reflection and some perfect conversation starters!

1. Skin Protection: Conversation starter, ask someone, “Do you know what the body’s largest organ is?” Then you can say, THE SKIN! Our skin is our body’s largest organ and acts as a shield against external elements. Prolonged exposure to UV rays without protection can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

2. UV Reflection: Conversation starter, “Did you know sunscreen is important for SNOWY places and not just sandy ones like the beach?” Follow up with facts, that snow can act as a powerful reflector of UV rays, increasing our exposure when we’re out enjoying winter activities like skiing or snowboarding. It’s crucial to apply sunscreen even on snowy days to protect our skin from harmful radiation.

3. Skin Cancer Prevention: Conversation starter, “Did you know that skin cancer rates are on the rise?” Share gently that UV exposure is a significant risk factor for developing this potentially deadly disease. By practicing safe sun habits, such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, we can reduce our risk of skin cancer.

4. Maintaining Skin Health: Conversation starter, this is a GREAT ONE, “Does this mole look ok?” Everyone loves giving an opinion, then you can share! That sun damage can lead to various skin issues, including wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. By protecting our skin from UV rays, we can maintain its health and youthful appearance for years to come. You just wanted to see what they thought!

5. Setting an Example: Conversation starter, “Do you like your dermatologist?” Now be kind, the person may not have one, know what one is, or they may get a skin check from their primary care or other health care professional. But it offers a chance for you to share that you make it a priority to get your skin checked, just like your teeth, eyes, etc. By prioritizing skin checks in our regular health and wellness visits, we set a positive example for our friends and family members. Encouraging others to protect their skin can help create a community that values skin health and overall well-being but also sharing how you got started can help too!

So mark your calendars for the Safe Sun Session at The Wellness Center on March 27th! Join us for an informative session on sun safety and learn about resources available in our area to support your skin health journey. Let’s embrace the sun responsibly and take proactive steps to protect our skin for a lifetime of healthy living as we keep the conversation going or at least get it started. Let’s talk about safe sun!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center