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Summer Safety: Applying Sunscreen

Updated on December 3, 2012

As warmer weather approaches, many people ultimately think of beaches, camping, yard work, etc. And in order to stay on the safe side of the sun, sunscreen is an important factor when you are working or playing outside. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause multiple issues with your body; eye issues, wrinkles, unattractive skin spots, or the most known, skin cancer. Before you go out and buy just any sunscreen, know what you are buying.

What is the SPF on the sunscreen bottle?

"Sun Protection Factor” or SPF for short is the representation of degree to which the lotion or spray protects your skin from the sun. The higher the number on your sunscreen the better protection you will receive.

Water Resistant vs. Waterproof:

Water resistant means it can withstand inclement wet weather, but not an actual submerging into any type of water. Waterproof can be submerged.

So when you are purchasing sunscreen make sure you know what you are buying. If it is water resistant then you will probably have to re-apply the sunscreen right after swimming or playing in water. Reapply according to the label on the sunscreen.

Applying Sunscreen:

  1. Per the recommendations on the bottle, apply an even coat of sunscreen on ALL uncovered skin. Do not forget your lips, ears, head, or nose.
  2. Usually you want to wait at least 15 minutes after you apply the sunscreen before venturing outside unless the label instructs you differently.
  3. Reapply evenly every couple of hours as directed by the manufacturer of the sunscreen.
  4. Infants and children should have sunscreen applied every time they go outside and every hour or as per the manufacturer. Younger children and infants need more care then adults.

Sunscreen Tips:

  1. If you have been previously treated for skin cancer or have pale skin, you should take extra precautions before venturing out into the sun.
  2. Always check any medications you are currently taking on the label. Some medications could have side effects that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sunlight.
  3. Even cosmetics should be checked for Alpha Hydroxy Acids. This may also cause your skin to become more sensitive to the sun.

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