He informed them 80 percent of the sun damage occurs before the age of 18, and the damage also results in wrinkles in, even as early as the twenties.
"What you do today will make a difference in your skin years from now," Novak said. "Using a sunscreen every day is a must. You need to set a regular time in your morning routine to put it on. Eventually it will become a habit. The two most important things about using a sunscreen is to use one with at least a 30 SPF and find one that you like. If you don't like the way it feels on your face, you won't use it. Keep trying till you find one you like." He provided the students with a list of 14 recommended sunscreens.
Novak explained that a sun block provides complete protection, as oppose to a sunscreen. Due to perspiration, swimming and clothing rubbing against the skin, sunscreen rubs off, requiring it to be reapplied. He said because sunscreen needs to react with the keratin in the skin to provide protection, it should be put on 45 minutes to an hour before going into the sun.
Every 1,000-foot increase in altitude adds a four percent increase intensity to ultraviolet light. Skiing or snowboarding at 5,000 feet results in a 20 percent greater intensity than at sea level. Every hour spent in the sun at the beach equals seven hours in the sun in the backyard, due to the reflection from the water.
He also explained a suntan is actually a sun burn, and going to tanning salons is more harmful than the actual sun.
The protection sunglasses provide from the sun was also discussed. Novak noted that ultraviolet radiation can be a factor in cataracts and macular degeneration.