A Little Dab Won’t Do Ya!

     Now that summer has arrived, the beach becomes the favorite destination for many. Every summer, families pack up their coolers, umbrellas, beach chairs, and boogie boards. However, it is important to remember the vital sun-loving accessory no one can afford to be without–sunscreen!

     About 2 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, and 1 in 5 Americans develops skin cancer at least once in their lifetime. A new study, published in May 2013 by researchers in Australia, shows that applying sunscreen appropriately not only reduces the chance of skin cancer but also reduces skin aging by 24%. Although the results of this study may not be surprising, it finally offers proof that the sun does, in fact, cause skin aging. In order to maintain your health and youth, here are some myths and realities to protect your skin from the sun.



Putting on sunscreen once in the morning will protect you the whole day. Apply a sunscreen of 30 SPF or greater about a half hour before you go outside. Even if you use sunscreen with a higher SPF, don’t forget to reapply every two hours or after you go swimming.
A sunscreen with a greater SPF means you can stay out in the sun longer without applying more sunscreen. SPF is not an indication of how much time you can spend in the sun. SPF 30 does not mean you can stay out twice as long as SPF 15. Different measures of SPF represent the number of UV-B rays that a sunscreen filters out. SPF 15 filters out 93% of UV-B rays, whereas SPF 30 filters out 97% of them.
You can swim as much as you want without reapplying when you use water-resistant sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreen isn’t actually water-proof. Normal sunscreen can wash off while swimming or sweating, and water-resistant sunscreen will only remain effective for 40-80 minutes during those activities.
If you’re in the shade, you don’t need to worry about sunscreen. Wear sunscreen whenever you’re outside. Reflective surfaces, such as sand, water, or pavement, can direct the sun’s UV rays toward you. And a cloud cover still allows harmful rays through.
Putting on a little dab of sunscreen is enough. It is recommended that you apply at minimum the equivalent of a shot glass (1.5 oz.) of sunscreen over your body and use the minimum of a nickel-sized dollop for the face.
All you have to do is put sunscreen on your face, arms, legs, back, and neck. The feet, ears, and back of your neck are the most commonly neglected areas in putting on sunscreen. Don’t forget about those sensitive areas!



Image: http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/natural-baby-sunscreen#slide-1


Painter, K. (2013, June 03). Regular sunscreen slows skin aging, study shows. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/03/sunscreen-skin-aging/2384615/

Skin cancer facts. (2013, February 12). Retrieved from http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts

Skin cancer facts. (2013, March 15). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/sunanduvexposure/skin-cancer-facts


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