Sunscreen Tips: Don't Skimp

We all love these extra hours of sun, but it is important that we stay safe and properly protect our skin.  Many of us believe that spraying on some sunscreen is enough, but this is part of a list of common mistakes we should avoid. Over 2 million Americans are diagnosed each year with skin cancer, and many of these cases are linked to harmful sun exposure that could have been prevented.

Part of the issue is inherent in the sunscreen that is available in the United States.  Unfortunately, compared to European markets, sunscreens available to Americans are less effective and outdated.  

QUICK SUNSCREEN AND SUN PROTECTION TIPS

  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after every dunk in the pool or ocean.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, especially during the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • If you have to be outside midday, find some shade, like an umbrella or a tree.
  • Cover up with long sleeves, pants, a hat and sunglasses whenever possible.
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Sunscreen Don’ts

• Don’t use spray sunscreens.  Although convenient, these sprays make it easy to miss spots or apply too little.  Furthermore, sprays can be easily inhaled and can contain toxic ingredients.

• Don’t use your makeup as sunscreen.  It’s great in theory, but most do not wear enough makeup nor do they reapply often enough for SPF to be effective.  Wear sunscreen under makeup for a better solution.

  • Don't miss these 7 key areas:
    • Scalp: Where hair is sparse, be sure to apply sunscreen
    • Eyelids: Don't get it in your eyes
    • Ears
    • Lips: And even add a protective lip balm to keep them moisturized
    • Back of neck and knees
    • Hands and feet

• Don’t assume because you are naturally tan you are in the clear.  Sunscreen should be worn by all skin types.

Sunscreen Dos

• Do reapply! This is the best way to ensure you stay covered and protected.  Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.

• Do bring hats and cover-ups to the beach for added protection.

• Do wear sunscreen on a cloudy day.  Not doing so is the easiest way to get burnt as clouds will only block 20 percent of UV rays.