Before heading out to enjoy a day outdoors, don’t forget to apply a generous covering of broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen. A year ‘round daily application of sunscreen with at least 30 SPF will protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Think sun tanned skin gives you a healthy glow? The truth is tanning is anything but healthy. Ultraviolet radiation is extremely damaging to skin. UVA rays are linked to premature aging of the skin, while UVB rays cause the skin to burn and can lead to skin cancer. A good broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both types of UV rays.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends starting with one ounce (approximately one shot glass) of sunscreen and applying it liberally to all exposed skin 15 minutes before going outside. Re-apply sunscreen every two hours and always after swimming or sweating.
There are dozens of over-the-counter products available, so select the one you are most likely to use. Options include creams, gels, sticks, and sprays – and it’s fine to mix and match. Creams and sticks work well on the face, while gels are great for hair-covered areas like chests.
Regardless of age, race or sex – everyone should use daily sunscreen. Other ways to protect your skin include avoiding the midday sun (between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.), wearing a hat and protective clothing, and steering clear of indoor tanning beds.
Most sunscreens maintain their effectiveness for three years. Check the bottle for an expiration date and toss any that have expired. If there’s no expiration date, write the date of purchase on the bottle so you can track it.