Protecting your skin shouldn’t be something you do only during the summer, but it does take on added importance when you’re most exposed to harmful UV Rays. You should make sure to protect your skin year-round with sunscreen to help prevent sun damage, skin cancer and premature aging.
No one is immune to skin cancer — it affects all ages, genders and races. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. To fight back, you should regularly use sunscreen with the following characteristics:
- Broad-Spectrum protection (protects against both UVA and UVB rays)
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher
- Water Resistance (especially if you will be swimming, exercising, etc)
There are many forms of good UV Protection. Choose one that is most convenient for your lifestyle so that you will be more likely to use it …
Sunscreen lotion for the beach and pool. Traditional sunscreen tubes and bottles come in a variety of SPFs with a variety of features, such as sport, waterproof, light, etc. The list is endless.
You can also get the protection you need from cosmetics, such as tinted moisturizers with SPF, facial lotions, body sprays, and makeup such as foundation, blush and lip balm, which should contain an SPF of at least 30.
Protective clothing. UV protection swimwear, shirts, shorts, hats, wraps, cover-ups and tunics, typically with SPF 50+, can help guard against sun burn when outdoors. Perfect for kids especially, protective clothing allows you to enjoy the sun without the hassle of applying sunscreen over and over.
Insect repellent. When visiting places where you need protection from both the sun and bugs, such as campgrounds, consider a two-in-one insect repellent/sunscreen for the ultimate in outdoor protection.
Now that you know the many ways to wear sunscreen, heed these year-round tips for being out in the sun:
- Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days, when up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can still reach your skin.
- Apply sunscreen to your face even when skiing in the winter, as the sun reflected off the bright snow can lead to burns.
- Use enough sunscreen to cover your body. The general rule is enough to fill a shot glass, or one ounce.
- Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before heading outside.
- Reapply after swimming or sweating excessively. Whether you’re lying in the sun or just walking around, reapply every two hours. Set your phone alarm to remind you.
- Don’t neglect your hands, tops of feet, ears and lips when applying sunscreen. Many of us overlook these areas and end up with a burn.
- Remember that when scars are exposed to the sun, they can become hyper-pigmented, making them become darker and more prominent. Take extra care to make sure your scars are well protected and use Scarfade to prevent scarring that can be exacerbated by exposure to the sun.