How to Prevent Sunburn


It's that time of year already and summer is here. This means a lot more time outdoors and enjoying the pools and beaches. Even if you're not "tanning", you need to be diligent about applying sunscreen daily if you're going to be outside for more than 10 mins. I apply sunscreen on my face under my make-up daily from March-Septmeber......not matter what! I even apply it on my chest and neck because that's an area of thinner skin and is more prone to sun damage.


How to Prevent a Sunburn:


Put on sunscreen before you go outside Every day, about 30 minutes before stepping out, apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of broad spectrum SPF of at least 30. Sun damage to the skin is caused by two types ofrays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn, but they each play a role in skin-aging and increasing your risk of skin cancer, so you want to protect yourself against both. Standard SPF (sun protection factor) blocks only UVB rays. Broad (or multi-spectrum) sunscreen protects against both.


Understand your sunscreen’s limits When it comes to sunscreen, the higher the SPF the better, right? Eh. SPF 15 blocks approximately 93% of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%. Higher isn’t necessarily better, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that SPF 100 is going to protect you all day.


Reapply often Reapply your sunscreen every two hours. And, don’t skimp on it. Use the same amount – at least 1 ounce – every time you do. Less than that and you’re not getting the full protection it offers. Reapply immediately after swimming, sweating a lot, or toweling off. Water-resistant sunscreen is effective for 40 minutes in the water. Very water resistant is effective for 80 minutes of swimming. There is no such thing as truly waterproof or sweatproof sunscreen.


Don’t keep your sunscreen forever Use your sunscreen daily, year-round, even on grey days as the UVA and UVB rays are still hitting your skin, but don’t keep it beyond the expiration date. It starts to degrade and become less effective.


Cover up and avoid the sunniest part of the day I realize that avoiding the hours between 10 AM and 4 PM, and wearing a hat, sunglasses, and tightly-knit dark long-sleeved shirts and pants every summer day is not a reasonable request. But, it is what the CDC recommends. At the very least, limit your sun exposure during those hours, wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses, and be mindful about wearing sunscreen.


Here’s a quick recap: • Get a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 • Put 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outdoors • Reapply the same amount of sunscreen every two hours • Try to avoid the hours between 10-4 and cover up as much as possible • Practice year-round sun protection



Featured Posts