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Properly Applying Sunscreen

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Properly Applying Sunscreen

Saving Your Skin from the Sun

While we spend more time outdoors soaking up the summer sun, it's important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. While small amounts of sun exposure can be harmless, spending too much time exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be damaging to your skin cells.

While the immediate consequences are unsightly and painful sunburns, continued exposure can result in skin cancer. In fact, having 5 or more sunburns in your lifetime can double your risk for developing life-threatening melanoma.

Fortunately, you can protect your sun by wearing sunscreen! Here’s what you should know to help save your skin this summer.

What Type of Sunscreen to Use

With plenty of sunscreen options out there, it can be difficult to figure out which one will provide you with the best protection. Regardless of the brand you choose, it is important that it is labeled as being “broad-spectrum.” This means that it will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Your sunscreen should also have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher as this will filter out about 97% of UV rays.

How to Apply Sunscreen

Follow these tips to help you protect your skin when spending time outdoors:

  • Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before heading out.
  • Apply about 1 ounce of sunscreen to cover your entire body.
  • Rub the sunscreen in thoroughly.
  • Apply sunscreen to all skin not covered by clothing.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming.

Additional UV Safety Tips

Other ways you can help to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays include:

  • Wearing sunglasses with UV protection
  • Wearing brimmed hats
  • Wear protective clothing like long sleeves and pants
  • Spend time in shaded areas when outdoors

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