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Healthy Living: Sunscreen


SunscreenIf you’ve ever read the famous newspaper column or heard the song, for that matter, you know that if you learn one thing in life, it’s to always wear sunscreen.

Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, thus greatly reducing your chances of skin cancer.

When should you wear sunscreen?

That’s easy: at all times.

Really? Even during the winter months or on cloudy days?

You betcha.

Your skin can still be damaged on a winter or dreary day. Trust me; I’ve gotten sunburned in February.

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. The number means the amount of time you should be protected from the sun versus not wearing any at all. For instance, if you apply an SPF 30, you should be protected 30 times longer than you would be without sunscreen, in theory.

In reality, sunscreen itself can only work up to a certain amount. If you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, consider putting on long-sleeves, and covering your legs and your head with a hat, which will protect your face. Don’t forget your ears. Spray them liberally with sunscreen to prevent them from burning.

If you’re on the beach, outside at a festival or sporting event, or doing other outdoor activities, you’ll want to reapply about two ounces of sunscreen every 90 minutes, more if you’re swimming or sweating heavily.

Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before going outside. Don’t forget your lips! Buy a lip balm with a high SPF rating and reapply frequently. If you’re outside, store sunscreen in a cooler bag to keep it from melting and making a mess during frequent use.

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Posted in: Healthy Living

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