Kw-logo-smaller

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.

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.

Sunscreen protects your skinSunscreen protects 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 15 and 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 with or without ultraviolet protection help block the sun's harmful ultraviolet raysRash guards with or without ultraviolet protection help block the sun's harmful ultraviolet raysCourtesy of

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! 

 

>
>

readers voted!

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

there are 19 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

Sun-safety-poll

What is the minimum SPF You Should Wear?

  • At least SPF 10
  • SPF 100
  • SPF 30
  • I don't wear sunscreen

related stories

Micro_micro_highsnobiety
How to find the right style sunglasses for your face shape.
Micro_micro_sunscreen
There are lots of sunscreens out there that protect your skin from burns, burns that if you get r...
Micro_lindsay lohan-micro
It's summertime and everyone wants that sun-kissed glow you can only get from going to the beach,...
Micro_summer-beauty-essentials-micro
When you’re sweating under the heat of the sun, the last thing you wanna do is put on makeup! But...
Micro_summer-sun-safety-micro
If you're spending most of your summer vacation outdoors, you'd better know how to play it safe w...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

Babe_wolf
Babe_wolf posted in Friends:
Find a new friend, and dont talk to her then
reply about 1 hour
samkitty214
say to your grandmother," i understand and acknowledge that you are allowed to dislike ANY of your grandchildren but for you to favor thats completly out of the question and completely unfair. i just wanted to be loved equally by somebody as important to me as you are. but if aren't willing to do so then i will turn to my grandfather and my parents."
reply about 2 hours
samkitty214
samkitty214 posted in Friends:
I say that if they verbally hurt you that way they are NOT your true friends the may POSE  as your friends, but they're not. now, they may pretend because you have something they want or you give them free stuff. if you feel like crying. go out and find friends that'll make you feel like you flying OVER your old mean friends. real friends treat you with respect, check in on you, and talk to you when NOBODY will. trust me i know. if you have fallen down and need help you can easily seperate your true friends from the POSERS.
reply about 2 hours
jayceeb
jayceeb posted in Style:
What u mean
reply about 4 hours
jayceeb
jayceeb posted in Style:
I know right that what I would say :)
reply about 4 hours

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...