Why You Should Use Sunscreen

The summertime is fast approaching so stock up on sunscreen body lotion to help protect your skin against the hazardous effects of prolonged exposure to the sun's rays. Now most people only wear sunscreen when they go to the beach, but actually you should be putting on sunscreen every time you go out and your skin is unprotected; if you are walking around in a tank top, sleeveless shirt or shorts, you should be wearing sunscreen on the exposed areas of your body and your face. I remember the time that I toured Portland, Oregon and it was an unseasonable 90 degrees the whole week I was there. I only wore sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts and by the time I came back to the hotel, I was suffering from a slight case of heat and sunstroke. My skin the next morning was peeling and red. I had forgotten the sunscreen.

Don't forget your sunscreen to protect your smooth skin! Attribution: Creative Commons
Don't forget your sunscreen to protect your smooth skin! Attribution: Creative Commons

The sun's rays are made up of two types of ultraviolet rays: A (UVA) and B (UVB). Both types of rays cause skin damage and contribute to the risk of skin cancer, UVB causes sunburns and UVA is shown to cause wrinkles. To block these rays, make sure that the sunscreen that you use has a high enough SPF rating. Most people ask how much SPF is in the sunscreen, as if it is an ingredient.  Actually, SPF stands for sun protection factor and is an indicator of its ability to block UVB rays. It doesn't block UVA. How SPF works is that the number tells you how long it would take you to get sunburned wearing the sunscreen versus not wearing any sunscreen. For example, depending on the temperature and time of day, if it takes you let's say 30 minutes to get sunburned without any sunscreen, applying a cream or lotion with an SPF of 10 means it will take you 5 hours of prolonged exposure to the sun to get that same sunburn.

An SPF rating of 15 means that the sunscreen blocks approximately 95% of UVB rays but it doesn't block UVA rays at all. A higher rating than 15 means that it will block more UVB rays but it doesn't provide 100% protection. To block UVA rays, look for sunscreen body lotions that contains avobenzone in the ingredients. However, avobenzone alone will not help because it breaks down quickly without a stabilizer. Look for avobenzone and a stabilizer such as helioplex in the ingredients of the sunscreen to effectively protect your skin against UVA rays, according to San Francisco-area dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD. She recommendes Neutrogena sunscreens with Helioplex and L'Oreal's LoRoche Posay with avobenzone or L'Oreal products that contain Mexoryl. You can also use sunscreenbody lotions that contain zinc oxide or titanium to block UVA rays.

Once you are out and about, reapply your sunscreen body lotion often in order to give you the best protection; it should be applied every two hours when swimming or sweating due to activity. Even if you are not doing anything strenous, you will still sweat and wipe away the sunscreen so don't be sparing in your application.

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Comments 6 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

I think you explained the purpose for the sunscreen and the type of sunrays very well. Skin cancer is almost epidemic and it is unnecessary if you use common sense and use the appropriate sun screen.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi Pamela, so true about the skin cancer, and apparently your chances of getting it increase once you've had a serious sunburn. Thanks for your nice comment.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia

Very informative Hub and it would be foolish these days for anyone to go out in the sun without some protection.

In Australia we have an ad running thru the summer months for 'slip slop slap'. All schoolchilren must wear the hat with protective neck guard!


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

You guys are way ahead in Australia, agvulpes. Wish we did run a public service ad about importance of sunscreen.


TVTopTen profile image

TVTopTen 6 years ago

My girlfriend got skin cancer on her nose when she was 13 and had to have a little piece cut out. So if you think your still young and won't get it, think again. As you pointed out sunscreen is super important.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Wow, 13 is so young but it goes to show you can never start too early to wear sunscreen. Thanks TVTopTen.

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