The Do’s and Don’ts of Sunscreen Wearing

 

As the weather gets warmer, many of us will begin spending more time outside. Whether you are gardening, walking your dogs, barbecuing, or hiking, remember one thing: put on sunscreen!

It’s no secret that excessive exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, sunburn, eye damage, and premature skin aging1. But did you know the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes2?

In fact, you should use sunscreen every day you go outside, during any season, even if it’s cloudy4. It simply is more important to remember this during the summer because people tend to spend more time outside, the sun is stronger and stays out longer3.

We have compiled for you some sunscreen facts and tips. We hope this will help your summer days be healthier, safer, and more enjoyable!

 

Sunscreen Facts

● All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays. Only the ones that receive the “broad-spectrum” mark by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration filter out both UVA and UVB. UVB contributes to sunburn and UVA is what causes skin cancer and skin aging3.

● Each sunscreen has an SPF number. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” and it shows the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays3. American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

● Sunscreens typically last about two hours. If you are sweating or swimming, it will last for even less time. A higher number of SPF doesn’t mean it’s longer-lasting4.

● No sunscreen can completely protect you from the sun, no matter how high the SPF number is. Use other sun protection as necessary, such as hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, or taking shelter under the shade1.

Makes sure not to expose the sunscreen bottle to heat for an extended time and remember to check the expiration date of a sunscreen3.

 

The Correct Ways to Use Sunscreen

● Apply sunscreen to all uncovered parts of the body generously. Ears, neck, feet, hands, and lips are often easily forgotten. You can use lip products with sun protection features with at least SPF of 30.

● Commonly, people don’t apply enough sunscreen. For optimal protection, most adults need about 1 oz of sunscreen, which is enough to fill a shot glass4.

● Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Sunscreen can be water-resistant, but never waterproof. If you are swimming or sweating reapply more frequently3.

● After you’ve applied sunscreen, you need to give it some time to get absorbed into your body. Put on sunscreen to dry skin at least 15 minutes before going out to the sun4.

 

Sources:

● https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/tips-stay-safe-sun-sunscreen-sunglasses

● https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm

● https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/stay-sun-safe-this-summer.html

● https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs