Sunscreen 101

Friday, July 12, 2019

The summer season is upon us. Whether combing the beaches or relaxing in the pool, many Floridians will cherish the opportunity to soak in the sun-drenched outdoor life.

But you owe it to your skin to be prepared: Sunscreen is a must during any season if you’re spending time outdoors.

The sun's ultraviolet rays lead to early wrinkles, age spots and potentially deadly skin cancers. Wearing the proper sunscreen can help protect you from these dangers.

Here’s what you should look for when choosing a sunscreen:

Broad-spectrum protection. These products guard against both UVA and UVB rays, which damage skin in different ways. Without broad spectrum on the label, you could be getting only sunburn protection.

SPF (sun-protection factor) 30 or higher. These products screen out 97 percent of UVB rays—a level of protection dermatologists recommend.

Water resistant. These sunscreens can resist water—for instance, while you swim—anywhere between 40 to 80 minutes.

Follow these steps when using sunscreen:

• Apply it 15 minutes before going outside.

• Apply it generously to each area of skin that is exposed. Consider using a sunscreen lip balm as well.

• Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you swim or sweat the lotion off.

Sunscreen alone won’t protect you 100% from the elements. For full protection, you should wear a long-sleeved shirt, a wide hat, sunglasses and avoid direct sunlight exposure whenever possible.

Sources: American Academy of Dermatology; American Cancer Society


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