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All About Sunscreen

Jun 04, 2018

You're on the beach or in the playground, and the sun is beaming down on you. Maybe you're reading a book, hanging out with your friends, or on a field trip with your class. Did you put on sunscreen recently? The sun's rays can be incredibly damaging to your skin. Almost everyone has had a sunburn at some point or another, but did you know that getting five or more sunburns can double your chances of getting skin cancer? Here's what you need to know about keeping your skin safe from the sun. 

Slap on some sunscreen whenever you hit the beach!Slap on some sunscreen whenever you hit the beach!

What is Sunscreen? 

Sunscreen is a product that can be applied to your skin, typically in the form of a spray or a lotion. It works to absorb or reflect some of the sun's ultraviolet rays, thus protecting your skin from sunburn. Sunscreen is quite an amazing invention and could be a really interesting topic for a science project - manufacturing sunscreen is all about chemistry! You can even make your own sunscreen at home. Health-wise, sunscreen can prevent the burns that may cause skin cancer, and have other benefits as well. Studies have shown that using sunscreen regularly can slow down the development of wrinkles and sagging skin. 

Apply sunscreen all over your face!Apply sunscreen all over your face!Courtesy of Kora Organics

How to Use Sunscreen

When using sunscreen, one application is not enough. You should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and be sure to reapply every two hours or after you have been swimming, even when using waterproof sunscreens. Reapplication is very important to the safety of our skin; sunscreen will lose its effectiveness if you are not careful. You also want to be sure to liberally apply sunscreen on areas that risk the most exposure to the sun, such as your ears, the back of your neck, your nose, and your shoulders. 

Don't forget to reapply your sunscreen!Don't forget to reapply your sunscreen!Courtesy of Galleryhip

Are there Any Negative Effects to Sunscreen Use? 

Some studies have suggested that consistent use of sunscreen decreases your body's intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and is crucial in maintaining healthy bones. Sun exposure is the primary way of getting vitamin D into your body. You don't need much, though, to fulfill your body's needs. Anywhere from 5-30 minutes of sun exposure just twice a week is probably enough vitamin D for you (if you have lighter skin, you need less time, whereas those with darker complexions may need a bit more). If you are rarely out in the sun, you can take a supplement in the form of a pill to ensure that you're getting your vitamin D. 

Worried about not getting enough vitamin D? Take a supplement!Worried about not getting enough vitamin D? Take a supplement!Courtesy of Oakville News

You may think that it's too early in your life for you to be worrying about skin cancer and wrinkles, but the health of your skin is important at any age, and how you take care of your skin as a child or young adult can have a dramatic effect on your likelihood of getting skin cancer later in life. It's never too early to start learning how to take care of your body! 

Have Your Say!

What's your favorite kind of sunscreen? Give us some recommendations!