Summer Skin Protection

Summer Skin Protection

Summer is here! It’ll soon be time to start getting out lighter, summer clothes and sandals. It’s also the time to start thinking about using the right sunscreen. Although many people run around all summer without using any sunscreen, that’s not a smart choice.

In the summer, the sun’s UVA (ultraviolet-A) rays are much stronger. Even though you need some sun each day to make vitamin D, too much is not good. Did you know that the dark, tropical tan you admire on others is really skin cell age?

Dermatologists recommend your sunscreen be a water resistant, broad-spectrum formula that includes both UVA and UVB (ultraviolet-B) ray protection. The SPF (sun protection factor) level tells its UVA/B blocking strength:

1. SPF-15.

Blocks near 93% of UVA/B rays.

2. SPF-30.

Blocks up to 97% of UVA/B rays.

3. SPF-50/higher.

Blocks up to 98% or more of UVA, UVB rays.

When should a sunscreen be applied?

Apply enough sunscreen to dry skin to cover exposed areas at least 15 to 30 minutes before going out. Don’t forget to use sunscreen on your face, ears, hands, arms, shoulders, lips and the top of your head if you don’t have much hair. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours… more often if you are sweating heavily or swimming.

What about water resistance?

Sunscreens can no longer be labeled “waterproof” or “sweat-proof.” Sunscreen products labeled “water resistant” should be reapplied after 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, right after drying off with a towel.