Jennifer Aniston always manages to look like she just came back from a tropical vacation, with her sun-kissed highlights, casual-chic wardrobe, and perfectly tan skin. But now Aniston says she’s rethinking that last part of her look.
"I gave myself a sun-tanning intervention a few years ago, where I was basically saying, ‘Let’s just quit while we’re ahead,” Aniston recently told People StyleWatch. “I was not that great as a kid with sunscreen. That’s one of my big regrets.”
Aniston is a well-documented sun-worshipper: “Honestly, this is going to sound so silly—going in the sun for 20 minutes a day is really important, vitamin D, because we are now having a vitamin D deficiency because of all the SPF,” the actress told O.K. magazine back in 2012.
RELATED: 15 Biggest Sunscreen Mistakes
She wasn’t entirely wrong; vitamin D is necessary for bone health because it helps your body absorb calcium. And while a few minutes in the sun is one way to get it, there are plenty of other ways that don't involve exposing your skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, including getting it via fortified foods.
Deliberately tanning, however, is not worth the risk: UV rays are the most preventable cause of skin cancer. And according to a new study published in the journal Science, the cancer-causing DNA damage that occurs when you bask in the sun (and gives you that glow) may even continue for hours after you head back inside.
That's not to say that you should remain indoors 24/7, or skip the loveliness that is the beach. But when you do head out, try to limit your time in the sun during peak brightness hours (about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), wear sun-protective clothing, and slather on the sunscreen.
Aniston said she now uses a moisturizer with SPF when she heads outside. Follow suit and make sure to hit any exposed spots on your body (even backs of hands and tops of feet) with sunscreen in addition to applying it to your face.