Do you have an SPF or UPF product on your body right now? Be honest. If you answered “no” you are not alone. I have written several stories each year on advicesisters.com warning about the danger of skin cancer and offering advice and solutions. If you are a true sun protection holdout, this story is a must-read. If you are already wise and protected, get some more ideas about how to protect yourself.
Here’s Why It is So Important:
Sun damage ages your skin, but it can also cause skin cancer. Skin cancer the size of a dime can be lethal. While much of a person’s sun damage occurs when they are young, you can stop future damage starting today! Consider: the sun is out 365 days a year.
Sunblocks come in all types and price points. Therefore, the best product for you is the one you will actually wear. I hope that you will read all of the sun protection facts, Then go find your favorite sunblock products (at least one) and use them. What you can’t see can harm you!
Believe me, I know!
My family were avid sailors. I started sailing with them when I was a toddler. Even though I have fair skin, I never used sunblock. I didn’t even wear a hat, or sunglasses very often. Today, my skin shows sun damage that I could have avoided. Now that I live in sunny Florida, I see so many people (of all ages) being treated for skin cancer with MOHS surgery or even topical chemotherapy. Don’t let this be you!
PLEASE READ AND SHARE THESE IMPORTANT SUN PROTECTION FACTS!
The new SPF regulations don’t make any difference — sunscreens are always going to make my face break out sun protection is pretty much all the same —right??? If I wear a facial product (e.g. tinted moisturizer) with SPF in it, I’m well protected —right? It’s cloudy (or I’m just going outside for a few minutes) so I can skip the SPF protection —right? The Summer is over, so I don’t need to wear sunscreen anymore –-right?
If you answered “Wrong” to all of these, you get 100%!
What Is Meant By UVA and UVB?
UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and can pass through window glass. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn and are blocked by window glass. UVA rays are Low Energy/ Long Wavelength (400 – 315 nm) and are the same all year round. UVB rays are High Energy/• Medium Wavelength (315 – 280 nm). They are the ones that cause sunburn. Consider too that they have higher levels in the summer.
SPF means: “Sun Protection Factor.” It is a numeric measure of the amount of time you can spend in the sun before it will show signs of redness when exposed to UVB light. For example, an SPF of 15 screens out about 93% of the sun’s damaging UV rays. An SPF 30 screens out 98% of UV rays. There are sunscreens I’ve seen that are SPF 80 and above. However, just because the SPF number is much higher than 30 doesn’t mean that the protection goes up, exponentially.
How Much Do I Need?
An SPF of 30 should be sufficient for most people, for most daily activities. You will want to apply an SPF 30 more than if you use an SPF 50 or 70. Consider also that using a high SPF is good, but some people can be sensitive to high levels of the ingredients. Therefore, you should use the SPF that works best for your skin.
Despite the look of a golden tan or deep skin tone, being “brown” doesn’t mean you can’t burn or worse, develop skin cancers. People of color still can get skin cancer. Worse, self-tanners and bronzers do not provide any protection against the sun’s rays unless an SPF is specifically mentioned.
You must apply or use a sunblock or sunscreen that has an SPF rating (UPF 50 if you are talking about clothing that protects skin with a sun protection of SPF 50). Most experts suggest that you use a product with at least SPF 30.
Apply Sun Protection Properly, and Regularly:
How much sun protection do you need to apply to your entire body to truly protect it? The answer is more than you might think. Use at least one full ounce. Your face requires about a teaspoon of sunscreen for the best coverage. Your arms and legs require about a tablespoon. Any part of your body including ears, lips, and scalp that is not covered by a hat or dense, dark clothing, needs to be covered.
You’ll need to re-apply it again within the amount of time suggested on the product packaging. It will be more often if you are perspiring or are exposed to water. There are sweat and water-resistant types of products for this. Choose what is right for you, depending on the environment and activity you’re doing.
Read the Labels:
Not all sun-safe products are appropriate for every skin type or condition. Some common sun protection ingredients may cause irritation in some people. Some sun-protection ingredients may take as long as half an hour to bind with your skin and properly protect you.
Read the labels carefully. Learn about the ingredients, especially the actives. Check the expiration dates. Sun protection products can lose their efficiency with age. It is best to toss anything more than six months old. If any product has changed in consistency or smell, toss it immediately.
Chemical or Physical?
The Sun Shines 365 Days a Year:
A GOOD PRACTICE FOR EVERYONE:
Check your skin regularly for unusual moles or skin changes, and see a dermatologist immediately if you find any. A quick check could save your life.