There's almost nothing more fun than playing in the sun. Plus, the fresh air, vitamin D from the sun's rays, and exposure to nature all do wonders for your health. But, as you know, you also need to take precautions to protect your skin from UV rays that are a major risk factor for most skin cancers. If you're sun savvy, you know to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you head outdoors, but are you applying enough? Probably not. And that's a BIG problem.
When we were researching sunscreen formulations and trying to determine what direction we wanted to go, we learned a startling fact: The average person uses less than half the amount of sunscreen they should be. Less. Than. Half!
Poor application means people likely reap less than half of their sunscreen’s UV-protecting benefits. And while you might avoid a dreaded sunburn (caused by UVB rays), UVA rays are still penetrating deep into your skin causing all sorts of damage. And consider this other nugget of truth: There are approximately 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight than UVB rays.
The moral of this story? SLATHER IT ON THICK. RUB IT IN GOOD. REAPPLY OFTEN.
For extra protection, follow the Skin Cancer Foundation's Prevention Guidelines:
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Don’t get sunburned.
- Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.
Now get out there and have some safe fun in the sun!