For this “Feel Good Friday,” we are exploring the world of sunscreen. Did you know that your skin is considered your largest organ? From direct contact with the environment, your skin “takes the heat” to protect your body and everything inside. In this way, it’s a vital organ and it’s important to protect it. In this article, you will learn how to apply and choose sunscreen, and other ways to protect your skin from sun exposure.
- Apply a generous amount of sunscreen- Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and apply to all exposed skin a half hour prior to sun exposure. Reapply about every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Use clothing to cover you- a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a hat and sunglasses can provide additional protection when you must be in the sun.
- Stay in the shade– remember the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m so try to avoid being out on extremely hot days during these times.
Special Tip: Take heed of this advice if you are the caretaker of infants or elderly adults- they are especially sensitive to heat and sunlight.
- Be careful around water, snow and sand- they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds- Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
- Check your birthday suit- See a dermatologist if you notice anything changing, growing or bleeding on your skin. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
Source: American Academy of Dermatology
- Pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen- that protects against UV-A and UV-B rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
- Read product labels- Look for a waterproof brand if you will be sweating or swimming. Buy a nonstinging product or one specifically formulated for your face.
- Go PABA-free- Buy a brand that does not contain para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) if you are sensitive to that ingredient.
- If Your Skin Reacts, Use a Different Sunscreen- Not all sunscreens have the same ingredients so try a sunscreen with different chemicals if your skin reacts badly to the one that you are using.
- If you have oily skin- use a water-based sunscreen.
- Expensive does not mean better- Although a costly brand might feel or smell better, it is not necessarily more effective than a cheaper product.
- Look for expiration dates- Although most sunscreens don’t expire for 3 years, some sunscreen ingredients might degrade over time.
Source: Center for Disease Control
Best Sunscreens By Category:
- Best Sport Sunscreen: Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray
- Best Non-Oily Facial Sunscreen: Neutrogena Dry-Touch SPF 30
- Best Facial Sunscreen: La-Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 40
- Best Body Sunscreen: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist SPF 70
- Best Eco-Friendly Facial Sunscreen: Badger Unscented SPF 30
Source: InStyle Magazine
We at Mackoul hope you have a great weekend and that you take some time to relax and recharge. Remember, sunscreen is not only for the beach, don’t leave home without it!