With the warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight, time spent outside increases during the summer. Graduation parties, parades, outdoor dining, days at the beach, sports and any other outdoor events pose a risk for UV ray exposure. Protecting your skin through use of sunscreen is essential.
There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) light that can cause skin cancer when skin is uncovered. UVA and UVB rays are harmful when overexposure occurs. Based on the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays. UVA rays can cause the skin to age through wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays cause sunburns. One difference between the two types of rays is that UVA rays can pass through glass whereas UVB rays are blocked by window glass. Sunscreens are required to include labels in order to specify which UV rays the product products from. The term ‘broad spectrum’ signifies that the sunscreen will protect skin against both UVA and UVB.
When picking the best sunscreen to use, the AAD recommends a two step process to ensure you are protecting your skin. First, use SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30+, broad-spectrum protection and water resistant products. Next, think about your skin’s needs and make sure that your selected sunscreen is best supporting your skin. Here is a list of recommended sunscreens by the NY Times after consulting various experts and scientific papers.
Sunscreen is essential to reducing your chance of skin cancer and premature aging. When applying sunscreen, the AAD and Skin Cancer Foundation recommend applying about one ounce (about a shot glass) of sunscreen on your body. Remember to reapply whenever exiting water or after sweating as well as every 40-80 minutes depending on the product. If you are concerned about using sunscreen, Dr. Jennifer Lin dispels concerns about sunscreen in this article by the Harvard Health Publishing website.
In addition to sunscreen, the best way to avoid the risk of skin cancer is through limiting sun exposure. Sun-protective clothing can help to guard skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends dark or bright colors, densely woven fabric, loose fitting clothing, as well as long sleeves and pants.
We, at Cold FAid®, hope you enjoy the sunshine safely this summer!