Remember these important tips about sunscreen:
SPF – Sun protection factor refers to how much protection from UVB rays a sunscreen provides. The higher the SPF, the more protection. However, recent studies are showing that UVA rays also cause significant skin damage in terms of aging, and may also lead to cell abnormalities that can cause skin cancers. Look for the words “broad-spectrum” on your sunscreen to make sure you are getting protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
We all know that skin cancers (and signs of sun damage such as wrinkles) occur most often on skin that is exposed to the sun. We are probably pretty good about applying sunscreen to our faces, arms and necks. However, some of the body parts that are most likely to be affected by skin cancer are your ears, lips and hands. Make sure these spots get a good coating. While you are at it, dab a little on your delicate scalp where your hair part falls.
“A little dab will do ya” refers to hair cream, not sunscreen! Sunscreen generally lasts only about two hours under the best of conditions, so make sure and pack a travel size when you are headed out. Remember to reapply every two hours at least, and more if you are especially fair skinned, in or around water, or sweating, even if you used a really high SPF.
If I can’t see you, you can’t burn me, right? Wrong! We’ve all heard it, and it’s true. You can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. Again, always keep a travel size broad spectrum sunscreen on hand and you will be covered (pun intended!).
Good habits start early. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn, so give them a good coating before sending them off to school, and talk to them about the importance of reapplying. Spray sunscreens can be handy, but a lot of times very little of the spray actually ends up on the little body!
For more information about sun protection, check out these sites: