Summer is definitely a time to forget about our troubles, but remember, being carefree does not mean being careless. Overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays can lead to various types of skin cancer, like melanoma. Play it safe when you are outdoors this season and follow these simple Cancer Prevention “Clip Tips” when choosing your sunscreen this summer.
The 30 and Over Rule Sunscreens offer varying degrees of protection from the sun’s rays. Just remember the higher the number of the SPF — Sun Protection Factor — the more protective the product. Look for a rating of 30 or higher.
Protect Yourself, from A to B Look for sunscreens with “broad spectrum coverage” that offer protection from both the sun’s UVA rays as well as its UVB rays. UVA rays are always present and can cause deep tissue damage, while UVB rays are responsible for painful sunburns.
Apply Early, Apply Often Before heading outdoors, every body part not covered with clothing should be covered in sunscreen. Water and sweat will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, your protective layer of lotion, so reapply often and look for water resistant products. Otherwise, an application every two hours is advised.
Stick or Spray Sunscreens now come in a variety of forms from gels and creams, to sprays and sticks. Sticks work best around the eyes, lotions and creams work well on the face and skin, while gels are good for the hairy sections. Sprays are a good way to apply sunscreens to kids, but be sure to rub in well for full coverage.
Best By Many sunscreens now come with an expiration date stamped on them, but most will remain effective up to three years. If the contents have separated, thickened or appear different than they did the first time you used them, it is best to throw them out.
Ultimate Coverage A good sunscreen offers great protection but for the ultimate coverage, protect exposed body parts by wearing lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants. Also, bring a hat and sunglasses.
Remember to check with your doctor if you see any changes in your skin. Learn more about skin cancer >>