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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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Dear Dish-It in the forums

OptimisticJollygirl
You are perfect the way you are.
reply 25 minutes
InternetOwl
InternetOwl posted in Friends:
I'm not sure whether you have actual depression or not (Ask your doctor if you feel you do, they'll be able to help. ^^), but I'm really sorry you feel depressed. I've been there too, and it really does feel like no one cares.   I know you said it's awkward, but try talking to your dad about it. You said he's the only one who seems to listen, so I'm sure he will listen and try to understand. If you start feeling really depressed every day, try doing things to make you feel happier. I don't know what you like to do, but you should do things like relaxing, reading, talking to people and spending more time outside. Smiling more often can help relieve stress and make you happier as well. c: Try meeting new people too. It seems as though your current friends are bringing you down, so you can try to talk to them if you like or find more friends who'll listen and care about you (however, try to keep your old friends as well. They are your friends after all, and it's hard being lonely). You've got friends on here too. But please don't think about doing anything harmful to yourself. You might not be thinking like that now, but being depressed can lead people to this and it's really not the answer.  Good luck! ^u^  
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FloraTheWolf
FloraTheWolf posted in Friends:
And you can add me as a friend if you want :D
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FloraTheWolf
FloraTheWolf posted in Friends:
I know what its like to feel depressed. And its hard to get out of it. Try thinking of good things, and if you are feeling lonely and have no friends around then you can talk to me if you want :3 When you start feeling depressed, try doing things you like, going out to a park or somewhere to be alone and just relax. Maybe go on walks once in a while. And even if people don't seem to care about you, I do :) So if you start feeling worse you can chat with me. Try not to think of dangerous things like suicide or cutting yourself or even running away though because it may sometimes seem like it could be the answer but it really isn't it'll make your life worse and more messed up. I hope you feel better soon! :D
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twyla215
twyla215 posted in Family Issues:
"just for fun" wrote:Dear Dash-It and Friends,(this is my sissys account..we both use it)I'm a girl of course.. And I've got 13 this july 03.. and the thhing is I don't feel like my growth is perfect for my age! I'm really skinny.. I like being skinny! 'Cause my body looks great! And any boys could be impressed by my body! ;)My hight is only 4'8!! A 13 years old girl is only 4'8!! yeah I feel really sad! As for my cousin she's 5'3 and she's skinny too but she's tall!! I feel bad when she bullies me..So Is there a quick way for me to get tall in 1 month?yes the white stuff is normal its dischargeAlso I haven't started my period. I get white gloomy stuffs that smells funny. And I haven't talked to my mom or anyone about it yet. I'm really ashamed..but is this normal?And I think my ###### are not normal for my "puny" I mean small height or body! Their growing and growing! Their size is 29!! I'm feeling guilty! Is there any exercises to make them smaller?Thats that help me....
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