Sunscreen is arguably one of the simplest ways to prevent millions of Skin cancer cases each year. However, the majority of us still neglect to apply sunscreen. In reality, according to a recent survey, only 14% of American men and 30% of American women apply sunscreen to their faces and other exposed areas before spending more than an hour outside.
So, what do you need to know about sun protection for your skin? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as the summer draws to a close.
“10 Tips TO Defend Your Skin Against The Sun”
- Choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA rays. At a minimum, the sunscreen should contain the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using an SPF of at least 30 to ensure adequate sun protection.
- Apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply every 2 hours during prolonged exposure to the sun, or after swimming or sweating.
- If you are using waterproof sunscreen, apply it only after drying off completely following a swim or water activity. Otherwise, reapply your usual sunscreen after getting out of the water. (Note: Sunscreens that are not waterproof need to be reapplied regardless of whether or not you are still wet.)
- Limit your time in the sun when it is strongest, between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you must go out during this time, ensure that you are protected with clothing, a hat, an umbrella, or an SPF of at least 30.
- Seek shade whenever possible, and avoid exposing yourself to the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you can still see light through your shadow at these times, UV rays are reaching your skin. You should seek protection from the sun right away!
- Skin cancer is most common in people with fair skin. If you have fair skin, be especially diligent about protecting your skin from the sun.
- Use extra caution when protecting children’s skin from ultraviolet light because their developing bodies are at a greater risk of harmful effects of exposure than adults. Exposure during early childhood can cause an increased risk of melanoma later in life.
- Wear sunglasses that have a UV filter to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays. Light reflected from water, sand, snow, and concrete can be just as damaging as direct sunlight on unprotected skin.
- Never rely solely on sunscreen alone for sun protection! Even the best sunscreen cannot last all day, so it should be used in conjunction with other forms of sun protection.
- Use a lip balm containing sunscreen when you are outside for long periods of time, especially if you plan to be near water or in a snow environment. Apply the lip balm for at least 15 minutes before going out into the elements so it has enough time to set, sealing in moisture to help protect your lips.
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