Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 at 8:21 am
How many of us can hear our parent say, “Did you put your sunscreen on?” Have you ever been chased by your mother trying to apply it for you? Despite being nagged, we should be aware that sunscreen is an important tool in successful skin care. It’s important to know what to look for when making a purchase. Look for the Seal of Recommendation on the bottle. This is a symbol of safe and effective sun protection recognized by consumers worldwide.
The following are helpful hints about proper sun protection.
1. Sunscreens need to have both UVA/UVB coverage in order to be effective. Most available sunscreens have UVB coverage. In order to obtain this dual coverage, look for ingredients such as Parsol (also known as avobenzone), mexoryl, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide. If they have at least one of these ingredients, you have some UVA coverage.
2. Sunscreen should be applied generously to sun exposed skin at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. It takes about 1 teaspoon to provide ample sun protection for the face and 2-4 tablespoons for the body depending on the size of the individual.
3. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours if you are outside for extended periods. You should always reapply after swimming.
4. If you have sensitive skin or rosacea, avoid alcohol-based products or those with an SPF greater than 30.
5. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use lighter lotions or alcohol-based sunscreens. For everyday use, sunscreens with an SPF 15 to 30 should be used. An SPF 50 can cause irritation in sensitive skin and does not provide as much protection as you would expect from the number. Time at the beach or other athletic activities may require the higher SPF 30 and reapplication every 2 hours.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin every month, so you can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous.
Additional advice listed below was developed to make it easy to know how best to care for skin- to be SunAWARE.
■Avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.
■Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin every month, so you can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous.
■Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) >30 to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.
■Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to a parent or healthcare provider.
■Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.
We hope these tips are helpful. So, whether you’re fishing, golfing, playing tennis, or working outdoors, remember to be SunAWARE. Here’s to taking care of the skin you’re in!