Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SunScreen Smarts!

Summer is officially here, and you are probably enjoying the longer days. But all that extra sunlight means you need to be diligent about applying sunscreen. Most doctors and researchers that specialize in skin cancers agree that most damage happens before you reach adulthood. When you are young, you spend much more time outdoors but you also tend to think less about the consequences of being in the sun sans SPF. So protect your children, and get them in the habit of applying sunscreen at an early age. They will thank you later in life!

1. Put enough on. The recommended application for adequate protection is 35 to 40ml per person per application. How much is this? Think about a shotglass full, or a handful.
2. Budget brands are just as effective as the more expensive brands. It's okay to go with the Pharmacy brand!
3. Sunscreen should be applied to clean, dry skin 30 minutes before exposure to the sun which allows it time to absorb properly.
4. Take time out in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm when them sun is strongest, but still apply sun screen because sand, concrete and water can reflect harmful rays. Same goes for car rides, the sun is coming in through your windows!
5. Reapply. Perspiration, exercise, swimming and towel-drying removes sun creams from the skin so you should reapply after taking part in any of these activities, even if the product claims to be waterproof. You should also reapply ever 45-60 minutes, otherwise you are still at risk for a burn. If you hate reapplying, look into the new continuous spray versions that make applying sunscreen a breeze.
6. Everyday use of sun lotions on your face and back of the hands will limit the chances of developing dry leathery skin, wrinkles, other signs of premature aging and skin cancer. Most moisturizers can be found with a built-in SPF factor, look for something with at least SPF 15. After applying to your face, rub the rest into your hands for instant moisturization and sun protection.
7. When you are laying out, try to cover up in the sun with loose cotton clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
8. Use a "broad spectrum" sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. The FDA has recently allowed the use of new ingredients in sunscreen that have been used in Europe for years that provide great broad spectrum protection.
9. Overcast weather still requires sunscreen in summer because 80 per cent of ultra-violet radiation is still present on cloudy days. Some companies have started producing daily body lotions with spf 15 built-in so that you can apply sunscreen without even thinking about it.
10. Children and babies need greater protection so use specially formulated kids ranges with gentler ingredients and higher SPFs.
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