Love the sun, love your skin

After months of winter and the soggy weeks of spring, people are ready to enjoy the sunny days that summer brings. Make sure that you are enjoying them safely by protecting your skin regardless of your skin pigmentation.

Protection starts with choosing the correct sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, when selecting a sunscreen, make sure the label includes the following information*:

  • 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.

Once you have the right sunscreen, you need to apply it correctly for effective protection. Sunscreen is safe and can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. Follow these tips from AAD dermatologists when applying sunscreen*:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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

*Source: American Academy Of Dermatology

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