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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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Sun safety poll

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

jordand08
Sounds like you have a crush. 
reply about 2 hours
Kaori_46
Talk it through. Ask them out maybe? don't worry about it. It'll work out. If they like you as much as you them, you have nothing to worry about. :)
reply about 3 hours
PerksBeingABookworm
How do I stop thinking about this guy in my school? Like seriously it's pissing me off. Every time we're in the same room, I have this uncanny awareness of where he is and what he is doing. He makes me want to watch the door of the two classes we have together whenever he enters or leaves the room, he makes me look forward to Art and Spanish and disappointed when he isn't there despite the fact I don't even talk to him much. He makes butterflies surge in my stomach and my heart pound in my ears, he makes me so nervous when I'm around him and I have to keep myself from making shaky movements. He makes me want to stare, but I don't want people to know that I care. (And great, he just made me rhyme as well).And a series of coincidences have resulted in me having to interact with him in Art. Ex). We had to draw a # out of a hat and review someone else's artwork...guess whose I got? And my teacher randomly gave us new tables-so now he sits right across from me. ...this is driving me insane. What do I do? (And I'm praying to God right now that he doesn't go on Kidzworld-if he does I hope he doesn't put two and two-oh look fantastic I rhymed again. I'm not even trying make this STOP I'm not even writing rationally anymore)
reply about 3 hours
PerksBeingABookworm
"Dpsdps55" wrote:someone likes me and I like them but we dont know what 2 do... plz help!!! P.S if you help thanks soooo much I'm not exactly an expert on this but...why not talk it out with them? Get to know them better and figure out what you both want? I mean, you both apparently feel the same way, that's half the battle.  I can only assume you both are unsure what to do because you guys are hesitant about making a move and actually forming a relationship. I mean, I get it: relationships are scary; though I've never actually been in one, I know the thought of it can be. You're voluntarily making yourself vulnerable to another human being, you're letting someone in to your life in a way that you've never done before, a way that can leave you hurting or actually make your life better.  Humans fear the unknown and crave familiarity, and a new relationship is definitely new territory.  But just because there's the possibility of getting hurt doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Take that plunge into the unknown, let yourself fall, say Geronimo and dive into that waterfall (see what I did there?)-because you'll never know what could be unless you take a chance. 
reply about 3 hours
Dpsdps55
someone likes me and I like them but we dont know what 2 do... plz help!!! P.S if you help thanks soooo much
reply about 4 hours