Protect Yourself from the Sun

Posted: July 5, 2012, 12:27 am by cspeciale

Rats! You just got sunburn after spending a long day in the sun during one of the “heats waves” this summer. But you applied sunscreen…so why did you still get burned?  Well, look no further for the answer as we'll tell you how to be safe in the sun.

We all use the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) on sunscreen products to judge how effective it will be.  The general thinking is the higher the SPF, the higher the protection, which mininizes the likelihood of getting sunburn. However, did you know that an SPF of 15 already blocks out 93% of the sun’s rays?  So once you reach SPF 30 to 50 you only slightly increase your protection - blocking 97-98% of the rays. To really keep your skin safe, it is not the highest SPF that will do the trick but your application technique. Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you venture outdoors and to reapply it every 2 hours. But what is the best kind of sunscreen and what time of year is it most needed? The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using “broad spectrum sunscreen” so you are protected against both UVA and UVB rays. Also, be sure to purchase sunscreens marked with the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation and to use a water resistent product if you'll be sweating or swimming. Futhermore, keep in mind you're especially prone to sunburn from April to October when the sun is strongest generally between 10 AM and 4 PM. You can even get sunburn on cloudy days, so don't think you can skip on sunscreen if you'll be outdoors for a long duration. 

If you do end up getting sunburn this summer, don't fret, treat sunburn with cool cloths or take frequent cool showers to relieve the burning.  Also, apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas and drink plenty of fluids to speed up the healing process. 







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