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Summer Sunscreen Tips

Jun 17, 2016

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 rays

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! 

 

20 Comments

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What is the minimum SPF You Should Wear?

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

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

bookwormlestrange
I don't have ADHD, but I know plenty about it. One of my friends has ADHD and Tourette's, and the teachers were always turds about it. Anyway, i think that a good way to deal with ADHD acting up is either changing medication or trying to eat foods or drinks with caffeine. I'm not sure if it works for you, but a lot of people with ADHD have seen significant improvements after putting caffeine in their systems. If your friends are acting like turds, you need better friends. I hope my advice helps.
reply about 23 hours
SmartSunnyShadow
I have one so annoying sister, that it feels like I have 200 of them, oh my god. She's pounding on the door right now, HELP! 
reply 1 day
SmartSunnyShadow
Dad, obviously. I can't even explain what he does to me!
reply 1 day
SmartSunnyShadow
Well, if they are your BFFs, they shouldn't be teasing you to make you feel bad. Me, and my BFFs tease each other all the time playfully, but I understand that this is different, and if it's making you feel bad it isn't playful at all.   Maybe your eldest friend is having some trouble with family issues, bad grades, body changes, etc. It's okay to be angry, so maybe you should leave her space for a few days, and see if it turns better. If it isn't, then try to first make her calm down. Then, make her talk to you about why she is so angry and ask if you can try to help. If nothing turns out better, tell her that you feel uncomfortable, and you want her to talk to you.  For your 3rd eldest friend, support her as much as possible, and stand up for her in this terrible situation. If you are all BFFs, then you should all be very close and comfortable around each other, and the fight shouldn't last long. If not, they are not your real friends, and you have to go on without them. I have tons of advice on how to make new friends, so just ask me if you want to know. Your 2nd eldest friend seems to be the main problem.  First of all, tell her to stop, and say how you don't like her bullying you. You must say what she is doing wrong, and how it makes you feel. If she doesn't care, tell her you're serious, and you hate what she is doing to you. If it continues, ignore what trash she is saying, and just simply walk away. Focus on other things that will help make you feel better. Remember, all she is is a person, and it's up to you to act appropriately.  Stay positive, and calm. Focus on other things, and if she continues, tell her that you can all be friends and you miss her. Go get another friend to stand up with you, and tell her that you will report to an adult if she won't stop. She may be your friend, but she deserves it. I told on my BFF when she was mean, so it's all okay now.  If all else fails, get a trusted adult, and hang out with nicer friends. Your other friends will learn from their mistakes. If not, warn them, and give them a sincere kindness note of how you miss being friends. Then, also give one to the bully.
reply 1 day
AnnaOfExquizurd
Yeah, @CyclonicBass the best option really is to find a girl with a quirky personality. Become friends with her. Possibly, over time, she'll grow close to you and accept a request to be with you. Hope it goes well!
reply 3 days