Why is sun protection important?
Sun without protection for extended periods of time could cause more than just sunburn, it can also cause eye damage and wrinkles. Ultraviolet rays are the number one cause of skin cancer.
Ways to protect your skin:
Covering up is easy and doesn’t cost a thing. Staying in the shade during the midday hours 10 am to 4 pm when the ultraviolet rays are strongest, wearing long sleeved t-shirts and long pants, wearing a brimmed hat, and wearing sunglasses are just a few ways to stay covered up while being outside.
Sunscreen is easy to apply and saved you from sunburns while you are out enjoying to sun and lake. Using broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is the first step.
The second step is choosing between all the options that are both broad-spectrum and at least SPF 30.
All sunscreen protect against UVB rays, which is what causes sunburn. UVB rays, on the other hand, contribute to skin cancer and wrinkles. Picking a sunscreen with a label that says “broadspectrum” protection is important, this means that the sunscreen is protective against UVA and UVB rays.
A sunscreen containing at least SPF 30 is also important because the higher the number the more protection you have against UVB rays. For example SPF 30 filters out about 97% of the rays and SPF 50 filter out about 98%. Any sunscreen with an SPF under 15 must carry a warning label that states it only protects against sunburn not skin cancer or wrinkles.
The last step is knowing the difference between water resistant and waterproof. NO sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof. If the sunscreen claims to be water resistance it must specify whether it is for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. Reapplying the sunscreen at least every 2 hours will give you your best results. It might even be beneficial to reapply more frequently than that while swimming or sweating.
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/stay-sun-safe-this-summer.html
College of Health Professions
Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate 2021