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In recent years, sun screen has become a hot topic. We have always heard, “you need sunscreen”. We always put it on our children, but we would forget ours or maybe we were still searching for the “sun goddess” brown tan. Well, now we know the effects of years of sun damage, and it is not a pretty picture. Brown, leathery skin is simply not HOT!!

How Much Sun Do We Need?

Did you know you do need sunlight every day? Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body. You would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.

Unfortunately, you only need 10 minutes of sunlight per day. That is all!! Then you need to cover it up.

So, here are a few Questions and Answers on sun screen. Hope you learn something new!

Q.What sunscreen should I use?

  • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use sunscreen that offers the following:
    • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays).
    • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or greater.
    • Water resistance.
  • A sunscreen that offers the above helps to protect your skin from sunburn, early skin aging, and skin cancer. However, sunscreen alone cannot fully protect you. Dermatologists also recommend that you seek shade when your shadow is shorter than you are and protect your skin by wearing long sleeves, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses whenever possible.

Q. Who needs sunscreen?

  • Everyone. People of all skin colors get skin cancer. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually.1
  • Many of these skin cancers could have been prevented with protection from the sun’s rays.

Q. When should I use sunscreen?

  • Every day. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays year round.
  • Even on cloudy days, harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.
    • On a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds.
  • Snow and sand increase the need for sunscreen.
    • Snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays, and sand reflects 25 percent of the sun’s rays.2

Q. How much sunscreen should I use, and how often should I apply it?

  • Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Ask yourself, “Will my face, ears, arms, or hands be covered by clothing?” If not, apply sunscreen.
  • To be sure you use enough, follow this guideline:
    • One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen applied depending on your body size.
    • Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.3
  • Apply the sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
  • Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily according to the directions on the bottle.

So, slather on some sunscreen and go play outside!

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