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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.

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! 

 

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

StephRox
StephRox posted in Family Issues:
Sometimes you feel annoyed with a sibling and you just don't know the RIGHT way to deal with it. I'm telling you right now that all that tension, the trouble, the annoyance can stop. But it's up to you.  LITTLE SIBS  [s:p/1koi] My BEST trick is to ignore. Act like  you have no problem with them. And move on, they'll EVENTually give up, TRUST ME. I've tried on my littles sisters.  BIG SIBS  [s:p/1jmr-en] They can be a bit... SASSY I am one anyway but you need to NOT mess with t hem. Even if this is coming from one herself, act like you have NO problem and be kind to them, surprise surprise! They might listen.   [s:p/1kka] Ya friend and Advisor
reply about 6 hours
StephRox
StephRox posted in Style:
If you've ever thought your style wasn't right or you needd a style change think about how YOU want the new you to be like. It YOU anyway. What do you ENJOY wearing? What do you think will be most trendy? And maybe your parents might be like mine and might not APPROVE of your outfit. Think about you. Don't try to change to someone else but the new you  [s:p/1kk9] Your friend and advisor, 
reply about 6 hours
lion2a3
lion2a3 posted in Family Issues:
Well I say don't deal with your friend I mean comfort her and all but if she's doing all that I would leave her alone let her parents deal with it you guys are just kids ending your life isn't the solution and you seem like a really caring person but ####### help from the internet isn't to answer Tell her parents or let her see to see an therapist or something But don't let other people drag you down into depression 
reply about 22 hours
TJStar234
TJStar234 posted in Friends:
everybody at my school don't really like me! :( 
reply 1 day
cocopanda200
cocopanda200 posted in Friends:
I have 3 close friends at school. Outside of school I have one. I'm soon going up to Secondary school. 2 of my friends, Kathryn and Sophie, are quite mean to me and others in the class. They call me names and push me around. I don't like it but afraid to tell them. They are also quite rude to teachers. When it's just me and Kathryn it's fine and I am wondering if it's just Sophie making an impression. I go to a small school (81 pupils) and making friends is hard for me. Please help!!
reply 1 day