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10 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

Jun 8, 2022

It’s probably one of the easiest ways to prevent millions of cancer cases each year—sunscreen. However, most of us still forget to slather on sunscreen. A recent study showed that just 14% of American men and 30% of American women regularly put sunscreen on their faces and other exposed skin before heading outside for more than an hour.

So what do you need to know about protecting your skin from the sun?

Here are ten tips to remember as you finish the summer

  1. Use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy. 
  2. Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Also, use a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
  3. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Other sunscreens may help keep you from sunburn, but they won’t protect against skin cancer.
  4. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating. 
  5. Be extra careful around water and sand. These surfaces reflect the sun’s damaging rays, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  6. Keep babies under six months old completely covered and in the shade.
  7. Limit the time you’re in the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. This is when the sun’s rays are the most intense. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest, and you should find shade.
  8. If possible, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Dark clothing with tightly woven fabric blocks more sun than white or loosely woven fabrics. For additional protection, look for clothes made with unique sun-protective materials.
  9. Accessorize with a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears and a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses with lenses with 99% to 100% UV absorption provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
  10. Be even more cautious if you take medications that may make you more sensitive to the sun. These include specific antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapies.

 


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