Many of us have been holed up indoors for months now. It’s time to get out and enjoy the sun! Sunlight lowers depression, and enables our bodies to manufacture vitamin D. But to protect our skin from premature aging and skin cancer, we should use sunscreen while we’re soaking up those rays. Here’s a quick overview of effective sunscreen use.
Dermatologists say this is what we should know.
Read the label. Here’s what to look for.
SPF (sun-protection factor). This number tells how effectively it blocks harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Choose an SPF of 30 or higher.
Broad spectrum. Protects against both UVA radiation (associated with skin aging) and UVB radiation (which causes sunburn). Both can cause skin cancer.
Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
Use enough to cover your whole body (one ounce for most adults). Don’t forget ears, top of scalp, legs and feet. Ask someone to help you with your back. You’ll need more every two hours. Reapply after swimming, or if you’re sweating.
Do I need sunscreen if…
I’m not at the beach? Yes, use whenever you’re outside.
It’s cloudy out? You can still get sunburn, so use it.
More sun protection tips
Wear a broad-brimmed hat.
Avoid peak sun exposure (between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).
Protect your eyes with sunglasses.
Stay in the shade.