Sunscreen Benefits: Reasons you should always wear it

Who should use sunscreen and why?

Everyone and anyone over the age of 6 months should use sunscreen daily to prevent any internal damages caused by ultraviolet radiation! Babies under 6 months are highly recommended to be away from the sun as they are more sensitive. We need to protect our skin from 2 types of radiation, which the sun produces, UVA and UVB. Both of these types of radiations harm the skin, DNA, eyes and premature skin, and most importantly increase the risks of cancers.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB? UVB is the cause of sunburn and skin damage when you are exposed to the sun for a long period of time, while UVA penetrates deeply into the skin, which causes tanning.  Both UV rays can cause cancer due to lack of protection, which cause the damage of skin cells.

What is SPF and why is it highly recommended?

SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’. When you walk down the aisle at your local supermarket you may notice sunscreens that are SPF 15 or SPF 30 and others that have higher SPFs. The highest recommendations by dermatologists are SPF 15 and 30. Higher SPFs do not give much protection which misleads people into thinking they have more protection. Sunscreen varies in their ability to guard us against UVA and UVB. The key ingredient to look for in the sunscreen you purchase are zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which protects from both UVB and UVA.

How much and how often should you apply sunscreen?

To ensure the sunscreen has soaked in your skin before being exposed to the sun, you should apply it 30 minutes before heading out. Reapply every 2 hours to ensure you are well protected- it is just as important as putting it on in the first place. Sunscreen should not only be worn when you are outside and directly exposed to the sun, but one can be exposed to UV radiation just by being near a window! The guideline for the right amount of sunscreen that is necessary for each application is “enough to fill a shot glass” generously applied on all areas that will be exposed to the sun. It is best to buy sunscreen specifically for the face, body and lips (lip balm containing SPF 30).

 

Overview about sunscreen: What you need to know in order to select the best sunscreen for you and your family!

  • Be in the shade as much as possible for protection (wear a hat, cover as much as possible)
  • Sunscreen you purchase contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide as key ingredients, as both of these ingredients protect you from UVA and UVB rays
  • SPF 15 or higher for park activities/walk
  • SPF 30 or higher for swimming or outdoor physical activities
  • Make sure you apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure
  • Swimming- reapply every 30 minutes
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
  • Don’t forget your lips! Wear lip balm which contains SPF 30
  • Sun protection is essential to skin cancer prevention

 

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