Knowing a few key facts about sunscreen can help you make the right decision when it comes to protecting your skin from harm. In preparation for the summer days ahead, it is important to understand the various ways you can protect your skin from sun damage and dangerous UV rays.
Seven Key Facts about Sunscreen
- 7 Teaspoons of sunscreen should be applied to cover your entire body.
- A greater SPF does not mean that less sunscreen needs to be applied or that you can stay in the sun for a longer period of time.
- When choosing a sunscreen, look for the following:
- A high SPF
- Broad Spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB) and water/sweat resistance
- SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is a measure of the performance of a sunscreen, determined by the degree of protection against UVB radiation. SPF30+ provides 97% protection against UVB rays – one thirtieth of the UVB gets through. SPF 50+ provides 98% protection from UVB rays – one fiftieth of UVB rays gets through.
- Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours and after swimming, perspiring or toweling.
- Sunscreen works by reflecting UVR as it reaches the skin and absorbing some UVR at a specific wavelength and converting it into heat energy.
- Never forget to check the expiration date of your sunscreen!
Along with using sunscreen, you can protect yourself from harmful UV rays with clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
It is important to cover your body with clothing if you plan to be out in the sun for long periods of time. Wear clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of at least 50. Doing so will protect your skin from all but 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays.
Hats and Sunglasses
Many people believe that you should wear a broad brim hat to protect your face from the sun, but you should also wear a hat to protect your scalp. Just like any other part of your skin, your scalp is susceptible to sun damage and dangerous UV radiation. Also, it is important to wear UV-blocking sunglasses as sun damage can lead to vision loss and other complications.