Keep Your Skin Safe From The Sun This Season
Exposing yourself to the sun’s harmful rays is a major cause of skin cancer. Sun exposure can also cause wrinkles and age spots. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the sun; there are several ways to care for your skin during the summer when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Follow these easy tips:
- Wear sunscreen that is “broad spectrum,” which means it protects against UVA and UVB rays (check the label).
- Apply sunscreen even when it is cloudy because 80 percent of sun rays still come through.
- Wear UV protective sunglasses and a hat with at least a 4-inch brim.
- Wear sun protective clothing, such as shirts made for swimming and boating, available for men, women and children. Be sure to look for a Universal Protection Factor (UPF) in the garment.
- When possible, stay out of the sun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the rays are the strongest.
- Remember that sun exposure adds up throughout your lifetime, so everyday exposure like walking the dog or gardening can lead to long-term skin damage.
- The sun’s rays can reflect off sand, water and even snow, so protect yourself all year round.
- NEVER use tanning beds; they are not safe!
How to properly apply sunscreen:
- Apply sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15-30 every day.
- Put your sunscreen by your toothbrush, razor or coffee maker and make it part of your daily routine.
- Use SPF 30-45 or higher for longer sun exposure, like swimming or exercising in the sun. Be sure to use a water resistant sunscreen when swimming or sweating.
- Apply to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outside.
- Reapply every two hours and after swimming, sweating and/or towel drying.
- Use one ounce (the size of a small egg) to cover an entire adult body.
- Lotions and sticks are preferred over sprays. If you are using a spray sunscreen, hold the bottle about 4 inches from your skin and spray to coat evenly.
- If you have sensitive skin, you may prefer a sunscreen with a physical sunblock. Check the “active ingredients” label to look for only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.