Sunscreen 101

One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). How do you protect yourself? Here are five tips from the AAD:

  1. Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays. SPFs higher than 30 block slightly more of the sun’s rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays.
  2. Look for Broad Spectrum sunscreens, which protect the skin from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, both of which can cause cancer.
  3. Even if you are wearing a high-SPF water-resistant sunscreen, reapply it approximately every two hours when outdoors and after swimming or sweating.
  4. Babies’ skin is much more sensitive than adults and sunscreens should be avoided if possible. Instead, keep them in the shade as much as possible and dress them in long sleeves, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
  5. When choosing a sunscreen types, creams are best for dry skin and the face. Gels are good for hairy areas, such as the scalp or male chest. Sticks are good to use around the eyes. And sprays are easy to apply to children. Never spray sunscreen around or near your face or mouth. Instead, spray an adequate amount of sunscreen into your hands and then apply the sunscreen to facial areas.


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