Now that it’s summer, many people are heading to the beach – especially in California. To protect themselves from the sun, they should apply sunscreen. A lack of sunscreen and over exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to not only excessive sun burn but also to the development of skin cancer. However, not all sunscreens are equal.
The following are a number of tips for selecting and using sunscreen:
- Throw away old sunscreen – Sunscreen typically has a shelf life of three years, but this doesn’t take into consideration its exposure to extreme heat. If someone has taken the same sunscreen to the beach every day over the course of a single summer, then it’s better to throw the rest of it away and purchase a new bottle next year.
- Look for high SPF values – The higher the SPF is, the more protection is provided against sunburn. There’s generally no point in purchasing a sunscreen with an SPF of over 50 for a child – at that point, they’re better off wearing a hat or loose-fitting clothing.
- No sunscreen is waterproof – In fact, the FDA banned the use of the term waterproof on sunscreen bottles. Now, sunscreen is labeled as water resistant. These sunscreens will state how long they will work after exposure to water. Once that time is up, sunscreen will need to be reapplied.
- Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen – Broad spectrum means that the sunscreen has passed tests protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. One causes sunburn, the other ages the skin, and both cause skin cancer. Always get a broad spectrum sunscreen.
- Avoid sunscreen and insect repellent combinations – Sunscreen is something that needs to be reapplied frequently, while insect repellent should not. Instead of using combined sunscreen and insect repellent, use two separate products.
- Use lotions instead of sprays – Sprays don’t cover the skin as well as lotion, and there are some concerns over inhaling the spray by accident.
Keep these sunscreen tips in mind and visit us at The Benefits Store for more helpful health-related advice today.