With summer in full swing, chances are you’ve stocked up on sunscreens or are planning to. While our earlier post on choosing sunscreens gives you tips on picking the best sunscreen for your skin and lifestyle, here are 5 must-know facts to help you use your sunscreen wisely and properly:
1. Sunscreens Must Be Used Every Day
First things first, you must use your sunscreen every day, even when you can’t see the sun shining. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “On a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds.” And yes, snow and sand tend to reflect more of the sun’s rays and therefore, increase your need for sunscreen. So, regardless of the weather, make sure you’re wearing sunscreen.
2. A Sunscreen Must Be Applied Generously
When it comes to sunscreens, less is definitely not more. You need a generous application of sunscreen lotion or creams to coat skin exposed to the sun. Also, apply it 15 minutes before you head outdoors and reapply it every 2 hours or so and after you’ve been swimming or sweating heavily.
3. Sunscreen Labels Must Adhere to FDA Guidelines
Recently, the FDA released guidelines which require that sunscreen label display information about the type of UV protection and what it can do – reduce skin cancer and early aging of skin while preventing sunburn or just prevent sunburn. Read the label to ensure that your sunscreen is giving you that information.
4. Sunscreens Should be Part of Your Sun Safety Kit and Not the Only Thing In It
Yes, while sunscreen is an important part of your sun safety toolkit, it shouldn’t be the only item in your toolkit. You also need shade, sun protective clothing, and sunglasses. And don’t forget to follow the sun safety guidelines which advise you to avoid tanning beds to keep yourself safe from the harmful rays of the sun.
5. Sunscreens Should and Can be Used by Everyone
Finally, other than babies 6 months or younger, everyone can and should use sunscreens. Whether you’re a child heading out for cycling or a teenager lazing on the beach, you need to use sunscreen regularly.
What do YOU think is the most important must-know fact about using a sunscreen?
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace medical advice and is strictly for informational purposes.
Sunscreen Facts, American Academy of Dermatology
Sunscreens Explained, Skin Cancer Foundation
Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos