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


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

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

scarlet177
scarlet177 posted in Friends:
According 2 me..... a perfect friend should be..... kind towards all, loving, funny, helping, and some times silly ( a friend shounldn't be ALWAYS serious!) friendly ( of course ), and..................... AWESOME!!!! :D !! I do have friend with all these qualities..... her name is ******  and she has ALL these qualities!!!!!!!! so she is AWESOME, COOL AND A PERFECT FRIEND!! :D :)
reply 3 minutes
scarlet177
scarlet177 posted in Friends:
My BFF is awesome!!!!!!! I know that cuz, she is the only person whon can understand my feelings when my enemies or some other friends tease me badly or when those ppl be rude to me....... :(  . I can share all my secrets to her........ she is Awesome cuz, she is being herself . Her name is ****** ....... and she is my WORLD'S BEST FRIEND!!!!! :D
reply 12 minutes
HeilHitler
it seems ;like my family is not getting along throughout all the killing going on around us. my wife gets mad at me when i come home with the jews i caught and i kill them in front of her and she gets all butthurt and my stupid mistakes of kids cry and scream
reply about 9 hours
Alexis7343
Alexis7343 posted in Friends:
I think its really great you posted this, cause a lot of people need it. Adults don't notice children problems. When I was in 2ed grade i was bullied by teens that were like 16. Not only that, teachers can bully kids too. My mom always puts people who try to kill them selves down in awful ways. Every time she says that stuff I am very offended by it cause she knows I have emotional problems but she still like to dig into it. Someone who feels they need to kill themselves needs someone to trust and talk to. I'm so happy you posted this. Cause it is so true!
reply about 10 hours
GaaraOfTheSand
GaaraOfTheSand posted in Friends:
I GONNA go draw
reply about 10 hours

play online games

Goodgameempire-thumb

Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

Dragon-dash-thumb-image

Your dragon must return to guard the treasure! Help it gather lost coins and avo...

Blobthrower-thumb

Shoot blobs with different properties to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be r...

Candy-cash-thumb

Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

Candy-100

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

_thumb_100x100

Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

Frostbox_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...

Plinga-pet

Join the pet-pampering party with your own customized critter!