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Happy National Sunscreen Day!

Sun Safety Tips

Whether the sun is shining bright or there are clouds in the sky, one thing is for sure, sunscreen is always a must! I know many of us are guilty of skipping the sunscreen or not reapplying, which results in not-so-fun consequences.

So, what is the best sunscreen to use? Really, any sunscreen you’re willing to properly apply.

With so many types of sunscreens out in the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which to use. Physical (mineral) or chemical sunscreens? Lotions, sprays, or sticks? The Skin Cancer Foundation has a helpful tool with products that have received their seal of recommendation to make it easier for protecting your skin.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it indicates a sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays. UVB radiation is what causes sunburn. UVA is radiation from the sun that goes beyond the skin and prematurely causes aging and wrinkles. Both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer. The number for SPF themselves stands for the approximate measure of time a person who has applied sunscreen can stay out in the sun without getting burned. So, if you use an SPF 30 product properly, it will take you 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen.

Sun safety tips:

  • Limit your time in the sun. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • The Skin Cancer Foundation advises everyone to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher every day. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher for extended outdoor activities.
  • Use a water-resistant sunscreen. This will help you if you’re swimming or sweating a lot. Just be sure to re-apply after getting out of the water.
  • Apply about one ounce of sunscreen to exposed areas about 20-30 minutes before heading outside.
  • Re-apply every 2 hours. This is very important!
  • Wear clothing to cover exposed skin while in the sun, such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, sunglasses, and wide-brim hats. Sun-protective clothing is also available.

 

Sources: Skincancer.org. CDC.gov, FDA.gov

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