Summertime! Let’s have some fun this summer and soak up the sun… but not so much that you get burned! It can be too much of a good thing!
The sun is a great natural source for Vitamin D, so getting some time outside is almost always a good thing. But when your skin is overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, that’s when you get burned. Not only can the tan lines be a little unseemly, but excessive sunburns over time are a leading cause for non-malignant skin tumors. And yes - it increases the risk of skin cancer. That’s why we need to be careful, and wear sunscreen!
Here are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to sunscreen:
Do use it. Everyone needs sunscreen, because anyone can get skin cancer. Age, gender, and race… it doesn’t discriminate. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Do seek shade from time to time. The sun’s rays are the strongest from 10a to 2p. And good rule of thumb is that if your shadow is shorter than you are… get some cover.
Do use water resistant sunscreen. Whether it’s the pool, beach, or you’re just out sweating in the sun… sunscreen doesn’t do you much good if it washes right off from a little water.
Do use Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher. Really anything underneath that number isn’t strong enough to help.
Do use “broad spectrum” sunscreen, so that you will get protection against UVB and UVA rays.
Do apply about 15 minutes before going out into the sun, so that it fully absorbs.
Don’t think that because it’s cloudy or overcast, you can’t get sunburned. Keep using sunscreen!
Don’t forget to reapply!
Don’t use sunscreens with oxybenzone or benzophenone-3. It has adverse effects on hormones and can irritate skin.
Don’t forget about your lips! The skin on your lips is more delicate! Use an SPF 30 lip balm.
Do have a good time this summer, but don’t get sunburned!