A Cheat Sheet to Choosing the Right Sunscreen

A Cheat Sheet to Choosing the Right Sunscreen

With summer here and temperatures reaching above 100 in most of the United States, it is important to make sure you and your loved ones are protected from the harmful damage caused by the sun. During summer the sun is actually quite stronger, leading to more sunburns and potentially even skin cancer. When it comes to selecting sunscreen for your family, here are some things to keep in mind:

Choose a sunscreen that provides “broad spectrum” protection.

Did you know that certain sunscreens only protect you from sunburn, not skin cancer or aging? When selecting your sunscreen, make sure to select one which is labeled broad-spectrum protection, these types of sunscreen block both UVA and UVB rays, preventing sunburn, cancer and aging in one!

Make sure the sunscreen you choose has a sun protection factor (SPF) 30+.

Were you aware that no sunscreen protects you completely from the damage caused by the sun? Higher SPF numbers do however mean more protection, which can be highly important. SPF 30 sunscreen filters out approximately 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 100 filters out around 99%. Ensuring your sunscreen is SPF 30 or higher can prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and even skin aging.

Pay attention to how long sunscreen is “water resistant.”

Wonder why you are getting burnt even while wearing sunscreen? Although many sunscreens are water resistant, this does not mean they are waterproof. You should be reapplying your sunscreen as directed on the bottle. Water resistant sunscreen should be labeled whether you need to reapply every 40 or 80 minutes.

Other Tips for Avoiding the Sun

  • When available, opt to sit in the shade instead of directly in the sunlight.
  • Wear clothing which covered more of your body; hats can be especially useful.
  • Avoid tanning, although tanned skin looks nice, it is not worth skin cancer.