The Importance of Using Sunscreen
If you soak up the sun’s rays without proper protection, you could be causing some serious harm to your skin. We’ve all heard about the dangers of skin cancer.
This is even truer for children. The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that just one blistering sunburn when younger can double a person’s risk of skin cancer later in life.
Sometimes it’s hard to know when a tan becomes a burn until it’s too late. Keep these tips in mind:
- Always use a sunscreen with SPF15 or higher
- Use at least one ounce to cover your arms, legs, neck and face
- Protect your lips by using sunscreen lip balm
- Avoid using sunscreen on babies younger than six months — instead, use hats, clothing and shade for protection
- If you wear makeup, think about products that contain sunscreen
- Choose broad spectrum products that guard against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays
- The sun’s rays are strongest between the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Choosing a Proper Sunscreen
With all the sunscreen products out there, it can be mind-boggling to figure out which one to choose. Think about these often-asked sunscreen questions next time you’re at the store:
Q: Does the kind of sunscreen I use matter?
A: Whether lotion, gel or spray form, be sure to use one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and offers at least Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15.
Q: What does a sunscreen’s SPF rating mean?
A: The SPF number tells us how effective the product is in offering protection from UV rays. Use higher SPF for more protection.
Q: Do sunscreens need to be reapplied during the course of a day?
A: Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for reapplication, and still reapply often during peak sun hours or after swimming or sweating. For highest level of protection, generously put on your sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going outside.
Getting sunburned or tanned on a regular basis could raise a red flag about your skin’s health. When you’re in the sun, heed the warning and slather on some sunscreen to keep beauty — and your health — skin deep.