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Summer Sunscreen Tips

Chances are you'll be spending some time in the sun this summer. Here's what you need to know about sunscreen and protecting your skin from the sun's short-term and long-term harmful rays as well as the science behind it all.

Sunscreen collage
Sunscreens come in many different formulas. Read the labels to pick the right one for your skin and amount of sun exposure.
Courtesy of AOL Shopping

What does sunscreen do?

Sunscreen shields the skin from the sun's harmful invisible ultraviolet rays. UVA rays are the long-term aging rays. UVB rays are the short-term burning rays. UVC rays burn off before they reach earth's atmosphere. Sunscreen shields your skin from UVA and UVB. It also protects your skin from “free radical damage”, which causes permanent damage to your skin.

I never get sunburned, why should I wear sunscreen?

What you normally see as a sunburn – red skin -- is a reaction to UVB rays alone. It’s impossible to tell how much UVA damage you are getting until years from now. Unfortunately, plenty of long-term skin damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised.

What does the SPF number mean?

SPF number indicates the amount of UVB protection a product offers. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, here's how it works: “If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen prevents reddening 15 times longer – about five hours. Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB.

The Skin Cancer Foundation explains further: “another way to look at it is in terms of percentages: SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent. They may seem like negligible differences, but if you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a difference. And as you can see, no sunscreen can block all UV rays.”

What happens if I combine two sunscreen products with different SPF’s?

SPF levels do not increase when two sunscreen products are combined (i.e. wearing a SPF 15and a SPF 30 does not equal a SPF 45). The amount of protection will equal the highest SPF applied.

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading out into the sun. Despite what the label says, if you are spending time outdoors, all sunscreens, no matter what the SPF value, must be reapplied every two hours and after swimming or exercise.

Rash guards
Rash guards with or without ultraviolet protection help block the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.
Courtesy of Made in China

Can you get sunburned through your clothes?

All fabrics offer some sun protection. Some clothes carry an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) value, where UPF ratings range from 15 (good) to 50+ (excellent). People with very fair skin who burn easily and people spending a lot of time on the water or in high elevations can benefit from wearing UPF rated clothes. People with average or darker skin who rarely burn will rarely get sunburned through their clothes. If you will be spending a lot of time in the sun, consider wearing a hat to protect your face and a rash guard to cover more of your body over a swimsuit.

Have Your Say

Do you use sunscreen and sun protection? Do you like to tan or use sunless tanners? Tell us in the comments below! 

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Comments

InfinityAndBeyondxP
Nice c;
commented: Fri Dec 06, 2013

directioner_4lyfe
stupid sunscreen
commented: Sat Sep 07, 2013

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

it's good 4 u
commented: Sat Sep 07, 2013

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Minimum SPF You Should Wear?

  • You should wear sunscreen with at least SPF 8.
  • At least SPF 10.
  • At least SPF 15.
  • You should never head into the sun with less than SPF 35 on.

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John Appetite
John Appetite posted in Friends:
"FloraTheWolf" wrote:One thing that I have noticed is that a lot of people seem to think they should have a boyfriend or a girlfriend as soon as possible, but they don't need to until its the right time just for them. You don't have to be forced to fall in love with someone if you don't want to. Let love come in its own time.And to keep away from any problems with her if she may become mean, try just forgetting about what happened and treat her like a normal person you know, and try to avoid any arguments. If she becomes mean, maybe just walk away for a bit. And if she is still being mean, maybe confront her asking what you have ever done to make her this way towards you. If you have done nothing, then she will have no reason to be mad at you so its not your problem she is being mean so you don't have to be stressed about it.I hope this helps! :) Thanks for the advice. This takes a burden off of my head. "Bloody Wings" wrote:ignore her be the cool kind of guy dont talk to her even if she comes and talk with you.well thats my opinion Thanks for the advice. Now I know the appropriate reaction. "Dear Dish-It" wrote: Hi there! My most important advice would be to be yourself! live your life! do the things you want to do. If you've moved past what happened with your feelings for one another, just go and enjoy your time. If things are weird, it'll be because of her, not you. Stay positive and calm and I'm sure you'll have fun!   Hope you have a good time! Thanks for helping me out Dish-It. You did not only help me out, but also wished me well. You are more like a care-taker, and you made me feel good. Thank you. Moderators can now lock the topic please. 
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Dear Dish-It
Dear Dish-It posted in Friends:
Hi there! My most important advice would be to be yourself! live your life! do the things you want to do. If you've moved past what happened with your feelings for one another, just go and enjoy your time. If things are weird, it'll be because of her, not you. Stay positive and calm and I'm sure you'll have fun!   Hope you have a good time!
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Bloody Wings
Bloody Wings posted in Friends:
ignore her be the cool kind of guy dont talk to her even if she comes and talk with you. well thats my opinion
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