Do you practice safe sun habits?

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on June 30, 2021 with No Comments

When selecting a sunscreen, make sure the label says:

  • Broad spectrum: The words “broad spectrum” means that the sunscreen can protect your skin from both types of harmful UV rays — the UVA rays and the UVB rays.
  • SPF 30 or higher: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you select a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher.
  • Water resistant: Dermatologists also recommend that you look for the words “water resistant.” This tells you that the sunscreen will stay on wet or sweaty skin for a while before you need to reapply. Water resistance lasts either 40 or 80 minutes. Not all sunscreens offer water resistance.

How you apply your sunscreen also affects how well it protects you. 

Sunscreen is safe and can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. However, it is not as effective unless it’s applied correctly. Follow these tips from dermatologists when applying sunscreen:

  1. Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.
  2. Apply sunscreen before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
  3. Apply enough sunscreen. Most adults need about 1 ounce — or enough to fill a shot glass — to fully cover their body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.
  4. Apply sunscreen to all skin not covered by clothing. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.
  5. To remain protected when outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter.

So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.

For more skin protection, visit American Academy of Dermatology at www.aad.org.

You can find out how to get the most protection from your sunscreen by watching the Academy’s video “How to apply sunscreen”.

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