Summer is here! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and trips to the beach will become a nice getaway from reality. Who doesn’t love a nice beach tan? Although nice bronzed, sun kissed skin can make you look better in pictures, the horrifying truth is that too much of the sun can cause health problems in the future; wrinkles, sun spots, dry patches, and even cancer. A nice few years of tan skin is not worth many years of wrinkles, uneven colored skin in the future or even dire health problems. Here are some tips on how to keep you and your family safe this summer in the sun!
First off, sunscreen should be used daily. Even if it does not feel too hot out or if the day seems to be filled with clouds, harmful rays from the sun are still making their way down to the earth and onto your skin. With warm weather comes may days and hours outside in the fresh air. Whenever you and your family are leaving the house, put on sunscreen.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, there are so many different types of sunscreen out there, how do I choose? Here is what you should be looking for:
You want a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Most sunscreens now protect both (they didn’t always protect from both). Many of the sunscreen companies are catching up, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that has the right protection.
UVA rays are the most common and they account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB and are believed to be the cause to skin damage and wrinkling.
UVB are also rays that reach the earth’s surface (not all UV rays reach the earth’s surface) and can damage the skin as well. These rays cause the skin to red and sunburn. They are also important in the development of skin cancer. UVB rays hit the earth significantly around 10 AM-4 PM.
Both UVA and UVB rays hit the earth all year round and can penetrate through clouds and even glass. It is important to find a sunscreen that protects from both of these skin damaging UV rays and use it daily!
Next, you want to make sure that you get a sunscreen that is waterproof. Keep that word in mind. Waterproof is slightly different from water resistant. Water resistant sunscreen keeps it’s SPF power working after 40 minutes of water exposure. Waterproof sunscreen keeps it’s SPF power working after up to 80 minutes of water exposure. For families with young children, it is important to have a sunscreen that stays on longer throughout the day, especially on the beach or in the pool. Having a sunscreen that can last longer throughout the day can make a huge difference and keep everyone happy (one less struggle to deal with!)
Now you may also be asking yourself, what’s the deal with the SPF? You can find sunscreen that has a little as 2 to as high as 50. I learned in a biology class in college that the SPF of lotions affect people with ranging skin types differently. People with lighter skin would need to apply sunscreen more than a person with more tan skin.
According to the melanoma foundation, if you use a sunscreen with SPF 15, you can be in the sun 15 times longer than if you had no sunscreen on, without burning. Dermatologist suggest using SPF 15 sunscreen all year round but people with fair skin should increase the SPF they use. SPF 2 absorbs 50% of the UV rays, SPF 15 absorbs 93% and SPF 34 absorbs 97%. SPF 50 does not absorb much more of the rays than an SPF 34 so you don’t need to go crazy with the SPF. You still would have to reapply an SPF 50 the same amount of times throughout the day as an SPF 34. I have even seen SPF 75-80 and the same applies, they will still absorb almost the same amount of rays as an SPF 34. SPF 15 -34 should be sufficient and safe enough for you and your family.
So, what should you remember from all of this mumbo-jumbo?
Find sunscreen that protects skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Use sunscreen daily, even if it is cloudy or cooler than a normal summer day.
If you will be near water a lot this summer, grab a waterproof sunscreen rather than a water resistant to prevent having to put on lotion constantly throughout the day.
SPF 2, although protects the skin, does not protect it enough. Grabbing an SPF 50 will not protect you a lot better than an SPF 34. You will still have to reapply throughout the day so going with an SPF 15-34 is your best bet!
Stay safe this summer. Use sunscreen and keep your skin and family happy and protected!
I’m Jessica and I love blogging. It gives me a chance to do what I enjoy, write, and have it be for other people to read and enjoy.
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