The Importance of Sunscreen

SunX SunscreenProtect your skin!
The sun radiates light to the earth, and part of that light consists of invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays. When these rays reach the skin, they cause tanning, burning, and other skin damage. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, and can even cause cancer.

If you can’t avoid being in the sun you can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen. Make sure you use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 or higher. Sunscreens that say “broad-spectrum” can protect the skin from ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunscreen comes in lotions, gels, creams, ointments and towelettes.

■Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going in the sun.
■Apply sunscreen to all the skin that will be exposed to the sun, including the nose, ears, neck, scalp, and lips. Sunscreen needs to be applied evenly over the skin and in the amount recommended on the label. Most sunscreens are not completely effective, because they are not applied correctly. It usually takes about 1 fl oz to cover an adult’s body.
■Apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours while in the sun and after swimming or sweating a lot. The SPF value decreases if a person sweats heavily or is in water, because water on the skin reduces the amount of protection the sunscreen provides. Sunscreen effectiveness is also affected by the wind, humidity, and altitude.

Other ways of protecting yourself from the sun include wearing sun protective clothing and sunglasses with UV protection. Given the epidemic of skin cancer in this country, sun safety should now be an important part of our lives. Skin protection from UV rays should begin as soon as a baby is born and continue throughout life. Make your skin happy by taking the proper precautions when dealing with sun.

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