Here is some information on how to use Sunscreen to prevent sunburns and protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV exposure:
Many people live with the false assumption that having a base tan will protect you from UV damage when exposed to the sun. In fact, you are not protected, and even a dark complexions can still be damaged by UV light.
As a general rule, you should be using at least an SPF 30 rated sunscreen that is listed as a Broad Spectrum product. If you are in an area where the sun’s rays are particularly intense apply an SPF 50 or even SPF 70. And keep in mind that no sunscreen provides 100% protection. Broad Spectrum means that the sunscreen provides protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. UVB Rays are the burning rays and UVA rays are the wrinkle and cancer causing rays. Make sure the sunscreen label indicated Broad Spectrum Protection.
Sunscreen needs to be applied twenty minutes prior to sun exposure for the ingredients in the product to become effective as a barrier to the sun’s rays.
The new advice on applying sunscreen is that in order to insure you have enough coverage you should apply two layers. Almost no one applies enough product, so applying two layers will insure that you are achieving the SPF rating specified on the product.
Sunscreen needs to be reapplied after two hours of exposure. If you are sweating or swimming, the product should be reapplied after drying off, even if you have used a water resistant product.
Do not forget to apply Sunscreen to your nose when applying product to your face! This is the number one area that is missed by most people, and is often an area that skin cancers show up. Other often missed areas are the ears, hair part, backs of hands, and chests.
Don’t forget that wearing a hat and SPF protective clothing is an excellent option when you are going to have extended sun exposure. This is particularly important if you are unable to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
Be cautious with Spray Sunscreens! The FDA has recently issued a warning to consumers that applying spray sunscreens before coming in close contact with open flames….think barbecue grill or fire pit…puts you at risk for the product igniting on your skin! Several people have become seriously burned when the product ignited after exposure to flames. Please be cautious, and use a non-spray type product if you will be exposed to an ignition source or flame.