Scare tactics don't seem to be any better at getting people to use sunscreens than photos of cancer-riddled lungs are at prodding smokers to quit. Despite years of public-health campaigns, the most common types of skin cancer (squamous cell and basal cell) have shot up another 16 percent. Scary.
Protect yourself with Dr. Oz's "A, B, C, D" of skin cancer.
Okay, the most common types are the least lethal—you're more likely to die crossing the street. So let's talk vanity, because we assume you care about wrinkles and scars. Blame the sun for the former. And removing these cancers—which you have to do—can leave a doozy of a scar smack in the middle of your face. Or your cleavage, bicep or other favorite spot.
Meanwhile, the reasons for not using sunscreen (sticky, smelly, greasy, chalky) are disappearing. Drugstores are jammed with choices: spray-on or rub-in; fragrance-free or scented; tinted or transparent; oil-free or creamy; sturdy enough for sweaty sports or gentle enough for tiny tots; antiacne or antiaging. The best and safest in our book? Sunscreens with nanoparticulated zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
So if yours is among the one in five households that doesn't bother with sun protection, no more excuses. And one more thing: Start early. Virgin skin cells that have been under cover all winter burn in a flash on that first weekend in the garden, at the beach or in the hammock.