Sunscreen – 5 Things You Should Know

Sunscreen is the most important thing you can do for your skin. If used correctly; it helps prevent cancer, premature aging, and sunburns.  Most of us can improve how we use sunscreen.  Here are five easy tips!

  1. Make sure your sunscreen is a “broad spectrum” sunscreen.

      Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays.  UVB rays are the ones that burn your skin, UVB rays are the ones that penetrate the skin deeper and can cause premature aging to your skin – they both cause cancer.  

  2. Use the correct amount! 

    Most people don’t use enough sunscreen! Slather that SPF! You need at least a nickel-sized dollop for your face alone, and a shot-glass sized glop for the rest of your body. Reapply every two hours, or after getting wet or working up a sweat.  

  3. Know your SPF numbers and reapply!

    What do those numbers mean?  Well, let’s say you start burning after about ten minutes, like me.  Applying an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 would theoretically allow you to stay in the sun for 15 times as long – or 150 minutes – without burning. An SPF of 50, in theory, protects for 50 times as long – so an SPF would protect you for 500 minutes.  All of this assumes the PERFECT application, which never happens.  Also, three things break down the effectiveness of sunscreen: sweat, sunlight, and water.  For that reason, reapply your sunscreen every two hours no matter what the number on the bottle says.  

  4. Sunscreen does not prevent your body from absorbing Vitamin D.  

    It doesn’t.  So, no excuses, PUT ON YOUR SUNSCREEN. 

  5. Use several methods to protect yourself! 

    A typical white t-shirt has an SPF of about 7.  Darker clothes with a thicker, tighter weave are more protective.  So, put on your sunscreen, cover with clothes, wear some UV protecting sunglasses, a hat, find some shade. You can be safe and enjoy the outdoors!  



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