Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunscreens: Better Than a Watchdog

Because I am fair-complected and live in a sunny climate, sunscreens are very important to me. They are often misunderstood and underused.

Sunscreens (at least 15-30 SPF) reduce the risk of burning, photoaging, and tanning. They help prevent skin growths and protect against some skin cancers. People who take certain medications or persons with some medical conditions may be more at risk.

If you spend time in the sun, the ultraviolet (UV) light can penetrate and damage your skin, no matter what your skin type is. Ultraviolet lights A (UVA) and B (UVB) lead to aging and burning if a person goes outside unprotected so it is crucial that your sunscreen guards you from both.

If you are using a spray for your face, apply it first to your hand and rub it on.

Put on about an ounce of lotion 15-30 minutes before going outside. Reapply at least every 2 hours. There's no such thing as completely waterproof so reapply sunscreen every time you come out of the water.

Use sunscreen even on overcast days.

Wear the right clothes, preferably darker, tighter weaves.

Use a lip balm with sunblock.

Wear UV-protective sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.

If you're in a car on a sunny day, wear long sleeves or use a sunscreen.

Limit your sun exposure, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The best sunscreens contain ecamsule (Mexoryl SX) combined with avobenzone and octocrylene.

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