Making Sense of Sunscreen

Sunscreens promise protection from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer. But how effective are they?

Studies have proven that sunscreen lowers the incidence of skin cancer. But sunscreen doesn’t give complete protection, and using it doesn’t mean you can sit in the sun for long periods without damage.

To protect yourself, it helps to know more about UV rays and sunscreens.

Sun facts
Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet rays that can reach the earth and cause skin damage: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).

•UVA rays account for the bulk of our sun exposure, and cause most aging of the skin. They are also linked to some skin cancers.
•UVB rays directly damage the DNA of the skin cells. They cause most sunburns and are thought to cause most skin cancers.
What is most important to know is that there are no “safe” UV rays. Both types can cause skin cancer, including melanoma, the most deadly form.

Selecting the right sunscreen
The goal of a sunscreen is to protect the skin from both types of UV rays. When sorting through your choices at the drugstore, focus on the SPF (sun protection factor) number on the labels. Experts recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

SPF is an indicator of how well the sunscreen protects against UVB rays. For example, with an SPF 15 sunscreen, you get about 1 minute of UVB rays for each 15 minutes you spend in the sun. An hour in the sun wearing SPF 15 sunscreen gives you about the same UVB exposure as 4 minutes without sunscreen.

A good sunscreen should protect against both types of UV rays. Make sure the label says “broad-spectrum” or that it provides both UVA and UVB protection. To provide broad-spectrum protection, most sunscreens will include some of the following:

•Chemical ingredients: These absorb both UVA and UVB radiation. These may include avobenzone, or benzophenones. Some, especially benzophenones, can cause skin reactions.
•Physical ingredients: These can physically block and reflect away both types of UV radiation. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two of the more common physical compounds found in sunscreens. These are less likely to cause allergic skin reactions than some chemical ingredients.
It’s important to remember that no sunscreen provides complete protection. Even if you don’t burn, too much time in the sun can still damage and age the skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

Many moisturizers and other cosmetic products have an SPF. These products may be fine if you only spend a few minutes in the sun each day. But if you work or play outdoors, you need a stronger, water-resistant sunscreen.

How to use sunscreen
To fend off the sun’s damaging rays:

•Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply it at least 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure to give it time to bind to your skin.
•Apply sunscreen generously. You should use about 1 ounce (a palmful) each time you apply it. Coat all skin not covered by clothing. Don’t miss easy-to-forget areas, such as tops of the feet and the ears.
•Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors and after swimming, sweating heavily, and toweling off.
•Use sunscreen every day. UV rays reach the earth even on cloudy days and during the winter, and UVA rays can pass through glass.
•Don’t rely on sunscreen alone to protect your skin. Cover up when outside. Wear a brimmed hat, UV-protection sunglasses, lip balm with sunscreen, and a long-sleeved shirt, pants, or a skirt.
Children need extra attention because they often spend a lot of time in the sun and their delicate skin can burn easily.

•Don’t use sunscreen on children younger than 6 months. Babies should be kept out of the sun and covered or shaded when they’re outside.
•Protect children older than 6 months by using sunscreen, dressing them in protective clothes, and urging them to play in the shade. As with everyone, it is important for them to avoid sun exposure at the peak of intensity, between 10 am and 4 pm.

Halle Berry

Cosmetic Surgery for Scar Removal

Cosmetic surgery has emerged as a safe and sure method for improving the physical features and enhancing the overall... ...

Halle Berry

10 Tips for Using Eye Makeup Safely

If you wear eye cosmetics like mascara, eyeliner, or eye shadow, be careful. That brown mascara might make you... ...

Halle Berry

How Safe or Unsafe is Plastic Surgery?

Looking good has become extremely important these days with the advent of numerous visual mediums. We are readily... ...

Halle Berry

Miscarriage: About Early Pregnancy Loss

Losing a pregnancy is one of the most devastating events a couple can endure. Though you may feel alone, confused... ...

Halle Berry

Unexpectedly Pregnant?

On a visit to her doctor, 42-year-old Jennifer Williams of Minneapolis got an unexpected diagnosis. “The... ...

DASH: Designed for Every Body

DASH: Designed for Every Body

Diets are a lot like fashion. Depending on the season (and which celebrity is currently obsessed),...

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Dietary Help for Iron-Deficiency Anemia

If you have been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor has likely advised you to eat...

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Simple Swaps! Make Healthy Food Even Healthier

Looking for easy ways to boost the nutritional value in your food? ...

Does Advertising affect Eating Disorders?

Advertisements are all around us. What we see impacts us in some or the other way.

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

How to Stop Online Shopping Addiction

In the age of electronics, there are many trends that turn into addictions....

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

College life is the most enjoyable part in one’s life but it also inculcates sensibility and ...

Skin Care »

  • Global Hand Washing Day

    Global Hand Washing Day

    The primary practice aim was mobilize people and transform handwashing from being just an abstract idea to an automatic ...
  • Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Pre School Hand Hygiene

    Children are very notorious and they can literally give a deaf ear to their parents when the latter ...
  • Personality Type Diet Plan

    Personality Type Diet Plan

    The Personality Type Diet has been crafted by Robert Kushner. He is a known expert on ...
Easy Way to Stop Smoking
Easy Way to Stop Smoking

Medical practitioners all over the world have been constantly appealing ...

Self Hypnosis Techniques
Self Hypnosis Techniques

A self hypnosis session requires a strong suggestion, proper relaxation and delivering ...

How to Tighten Loose Skin
How to Tighten Loose Skin

Loose skin is a common problem that a lot of women as well . ...

Careers in Speech Pathology
Careers in Speech Pathology

With a rise in speech-related problems in people, speech pathologists are in great demand

8 SureFire Tips on How to Lose Inches Off Your Waist Fast

Want to know how to lose inches fast?

The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer
The 2 Types of Knee Braces With Side Stabilizer

Do you have a problem with your knees?...

Is It Easy To Quit Smoking Forever?

How do I dare to say that it is easy to quit smoking? ...

Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match
Kids and Martial Arts Can Be a Great Match

All parents want their children to grow up healthy and develop discipline...

Don't miss

Take It Easy: Preventing and Treating Shin Splints

What are shin splints? Typically, shin splints cause pain or tenderness along the shin bone from inflamed muscles,... ...

Fit to a Tee: The Basics of Golf

Think golf is just a slow-paced game for businessmen in plaid pants? Think again – it might be worth taking... ...

9 Ways to Exercise When You Don’t Have Time

You know exercise can help improve your health and lose weight. Yet, 1 in 4 adults doesn’t exercise, according... ...

Corn Snack Recipe

Let us talk food. And when it comes to snacking, it better be something interesting and quick! The following recipe...

Healthy Women: Tips for Women to maintain their health

Traditionally women’s health is a neglected issue. As sister/mother/wife, they care for others. But it is changing....
Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

Grocery Shopping Tips for College Students

College life is the most enjoyable part in one’s life but it also inculcates sensibility and nurtures students...

What are the signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Babies?

is usually hard to detect signs and symptoms of diabetes in babies as they lack clear communication skills. Thus,...
Avoiding Infections When You Have Cancer

Avoiding Infections When You Have Cancer

When you have cancer, chemotherapy and radiation treatments can weaken your immune system. This makes it easier...
Food to suit your mood: Bananas and apricots

Food to suit your mood: Bananas and apricots

Source of sadness in your life can be many. It may be because of a disturbed relationship, trauma in family or...