Sunscreen Basics: Seven Facts About Sunscreen

Skin experts and dermatology professionals around the world encourage the use of sunscreen. Even if you are not sunbathing, you still may be exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays if you are not indoors. Protecting your skin with sunscreen is a crucial step in taking care of yourself and preventing problems like skin cancer. These seven facts about sunscreen basics will help you understand more about protecting your skin.

Fact # 1: Sunscreen is Not Waterproof

Interestingly, even though sunscreen is used when folks are outdoors, usually swimming, it is not waterproof. It’s not sweatproof, either. This means it is basically useless if you apply it to wet or sweaty skin. So be sure you apply sunscreen to dry skin!

Fact # 2: Keep Babies Out of the Sun

Remember, children need to have their skin protected and taken care of, too. Babies under six months old should not be exposed to the sun at all. Their skin is too sensitive, and sunscreen is too strong. Instead, infants they should be covered up.

Fact # 3: Sunscreen Wears Off After Two Hours

To be sure you are protected, apply your sunscreen every two hours. The lotion can get rubbed off without you being aware of it. Plus, regulations concerning test results impact the way a company can claim how long your sunscreen lasts. So, don’t skimp!

Fact # 4: Only Sunscreen Marked “Broad Spectrum” Gives Complete Protection

The use of the term “Broad Spectrum” is the only way you can confirm that the sunscreen you are choosing will block out both types of UV rays: this is both the harmful UVA rays and the UVB rays. Anything other than “Broad Spectrum” is giving you incomplete coverage.

Fact # 5: Only Use Sunscreen Marked SPF 30 or Higher

SPF numbers can be confusing. First of all, SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’. The SPF 30 marking confirms that 97% of UV rays, while SPF 15 blocks out only 93%. More protection is available with SPF 50 sunblock, which blocks out 98% of the harmful UV rays. Again, don’t skimp, protect yourself.

Fact # 6: No Matter What Your Skin Tone, Use Sunscreen

Find out if your dermatologist recommends a particular type of sunscreen for your skin type, and then apply it regularly. Do not assume that you don’t need sunscreen if you have a darker skin tone: this is a misconception that could put you at risk for skin cancer.

Fact # 7: Use Sunscreen, but Check the Ingredients

There are certain ingredients in some sunscreens which are very strong. These include ingredients like retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. Look for milder ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, instead.

When thinking about sunscreen, skin experts, and how to choose a dermatologist, it has been reported that the sun is the main reason for over 90% of the changes that make your skin look older (according to the Skin Cancer Foundation). However, taking care of your skin is not just a question of your appearance; Visiting skin experts such as a local dermatologist can be good for your overall health. It’s never too late to start a good habit, so if you have not been using sunscreen and visiting skin experts on a regular basis, you can start to do so today.

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