Sunscreen 101: Save Your Skin for UV Safety Month
Some might say sunscreen is a necessary evil. After all, who doesn’t like how they look with a bit of a sun tan? Yet the evidence overwhelming demonstrates just how damaging UV rays are to our skin.
What’s more, it’s hard to know just how much protection you need. Is SPF 15 enough to do the trick? Do you really need to reapply throughout the day?
We make it our mission to help others live their best life by encouraging a holistic approach to health. Each month we tackle different health topics at our blog. This month we’re setting the record straight about sun protection.
- UVB are what cause you to get a painful sunburn. UVB rays usually reach only the top layers of skin but repeated sunburns can cause grave damage over time.
- UVA rays are what contribute to the aging of the skin. If you don’t want premature wrinkles, be sure to pick a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against harmful rays. These rays penetrate deep and can contribute to the suppression of the immune system, and leave you at higher risk for skin cancer.
Picking out the best sunscreen:
- 30 SPF or higher
SPF stands for sun protection factor. An SPF rating tells you the rate of time it will take to get a sunburn wearing sunscreen as compared to the time it would without. For example, if you’re using SPF 10, it will take you ten times as long to get sunburned than usual. Most dermatologists recommend that you use SPF 30 or higher.
- Water resistant or waterproof
A water resistant formula will keep you safe from exposure while you’re swimming or active. It’s still important to reapply about every two hours to maintain the best coverage.
- Broad-spectrum coverage
There are three types of UV rays, but you really only need protection from the rays that reach our atmosphere: UVA and UVB rays. A broad spectrum ensures that you receive protection against both.
Sunscreen application pointers:
- 15-minute application rule
Make sure to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you head outside, as it takes this long for your skin to completely absorb it.
- 2-hour re-application rule
Most sunscreen is only effective for about 2 hours. If you’re outside for longer than this, make sure to re-apply.
- Palm-size rule
Proper coverage is one of the most important sunscreen tips. In general, people need about an ounce of sunscreen – that’s a full palm – of sunscreen to provide their body with adequate coverage. So don’t skimp—have a couple of bottles handy if you’re taking a long beach vacation.
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but there are steps you can take to prevent damage. In honor of UV Safety Month, give your skin some love and slather on the SPF before you hit the beach.
We specialize in getting people the help they need through prescription assistance but we’re always interested to know which health topics you’re talking about. What are you doing this summer to protect yourself from the sun? Comment below to let us know!