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5 Facts Everyone Needs to Know About Sunscreen

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Summer is in full swing and that means so is fun in the sun!  While most of us are aware of the dangers sun exposure may cause, we may not know all of the “do’s and don’ts” of proper Sunscreen use.

For example, did you know….

  • EVERYONE needs to wear sunscreen EVERYDAY? Proper use and application of sunscreen is proven to help eliminate the effects of the sun’s harmful rays. No matter your age, race, gender or dark/lightness of your skin…EVERYONE needs to wear sunscreen. The sun emits harmful rays even on cloudy days. EVERYONE! EVERYDAY!
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime? These eye-opening stats are according to studies presented by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
  • The FDA mandates all sunscreens retain their original strength at least 3 years from production date? It’s great this is regulated, but we also need to do our due diligence to follow their advice. Most sunscreens have an expiration date – be sure to discard if the date has passed. No expiration date? No problem! Just write the purchase date on the bottle. Throw it out when it’s time. Also, be sure to look for any changes in color/consistency/odor of your sunscreen. And when in doubt…toss it out!
  • How to best maximize sun protection? The AAD recommends using a sunscreen with the following:
    • Broad Spectrum (coverage from UVA & UVB rays)
    • An SPF that is at least a level 30 or higher. (NOTE: a higher SPF does not mean you can stay out in the sun longer. You still must reapply every 2 hours regardless of the SPF level).
    • Water/Sweat resistant
    • Remember: Sunscreen alone can not completely protect you from the harmful effects of the sun! Be sure to wear proper clothing, hats and sunglasses. Remember too if your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade!
  • Water, sand and snow can all increase your chance of a sunburn? These all reflect the sun and create stronger rays. So even in the cold months of winter, you still need to take the proper precautions.

For more information on sunscreen use and skin care, speak to your dermatologist. The AAD recommends you visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a thorough skin examination. If you notice any irregular skin issues or areas that are not healing properly, seek your dermatologist immediately.

 

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