We know using sunscreen canprevent sunburns and reduce the riskof developing skin cancer, but few ofus know what ingredien...
Tip # 1:Look for a Broad-Spectrum SunscreenWhen looking for sunscreen, makesure to find a bottle that is labeledbroad-spec...
Tip # 2:Use Sun Protection Every DayWearing sunscreen isn’t just for thedays you head to the beach –sunburns can happen ev...
Tip # 3:Use the Right Amount of SunscreenExperts say most people only usehalf as much sunscreen as theyshould. “You should...
Tip # 4:Choose the Right Sunscreen for YouThere are two types of sunscreens:physical and chemical. Chemicalsunscreens are ...
Tip # 5:Limit Sun ExposureNo sunscreen can offer all-dayprotection. The FDA states thatsunscreens may claim they are water...
Tip # 6:Apply Generously & Reapply FrequentlyThe FDA calls SPF values over 50misleading and notes that there is noevidence...
Tip # 7:Wear Hats, Protective Clothing & SunglassesMany people have a false sense ofsecurity from wearing sunscreen,says R...
Tip # 8:Keep Babies Out of Direct SunlightSpending hours in the sun isn’trecommended for babies. If yourlittle one is unde...
Tip # 9:Remember, Everyone Needs Sun ProtectionMany people believe that those withfair skin are most apt to burn or bediag...
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Tips to Ensure You’re Sunscreen Savvy

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We know using sunscreen can prevent sunburns and reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, but few of us know what ingredients to look for in an effective sunscreen. In December 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enacted new labeling guidelines to help consumers decide how to buy and use sunscreen. Here are nine tips to help you understand the labels and become sunscreen savvy.

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Tips to Ensure You’re Sunscreen Savvy

  1. 1. We know using sunscreen canprevent sunburns and reduce the riskof developing skin cancer, but few ofus know what ingredients to look forin an effective sunscreen. InDecember 2012, the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) enacted newlabeling guidelines to helpconsumers decide how to buy anduse sunscreen. Here are nine tips tohelp you understand the labels andbecome sunscreen savvy.Tips to Ensure You’re Sunscreen SavvyBy Linda Childers
  2. 2. Tip # 1:Look for a Broad-Spectrum SunscreenWhen looking for sunscreen, makesure to find a bottle that is labeledbroad-spectrum. This means itprotects against both UVA and UBAradiation. “To obtain adequateprotection against sunburns, earlyaging and skin cancer, consumersshould use a product that is broad-spectrum and has a Sun ProtectionFactor (SPF) of 15 or higher,” saysLisa Kubaska, Pharm.D.,spokesperson for the FDA.
  3. 3. Tip # 2:Use Sun Protection Every DayWearing sunscreen isn’t just for thedays you head to the beach –sunburns can happen even when it’sovercast. “I tell my patients to use abroad-spectrum sunscreen with anSPF of 15 or higher every day ifthey’re going to be outside for morethan 20 minutes,” says Dr. KatieRodan, a board-certifieddermatologist and co-creator of theProactiv Solution and theRodan+Fields skincare line.
  4. 4. Tip # 3:Use the Right Amount of SunscreenExperts say most people only usehalf as much sunscreen as theyshould. “You should apply enoughsunscreen to cover all of yourexposed areas,” says Rodan.According to the FDA, an average-size adult or child needs at least oneounce (two tablespoons) ofsunscreen to evenly cover the bodyfrom head to toe. Apply sunscreen15 minutes before going outside – ifyou wait until you are already outsideto apply, your skin is unprotected andcan burn easily.
  5. 5. Tip # 4:Choose the Right Sunscreen for YouThere are two types of sunscreens:physical and chemical. Chemicalsunscreens are absorbed by the skin,while physical sunscreens sit on theskin’s surface and contain zinc andtitanium dioxide that reflect the sun’sharmful rays away from the skin. “Ifyou have sensitive skin or rosacea, aphysical sunscreen is best,” Rodansays.
  6. 6. Tip # 5:Limit Sun ExposureNo sunscreen can offer all-dayprotection. The FDA states thatsunscreens may claim they are waterresistant, but must specify how oftenconsumers should reapply. Applysunscreen to exposed skin, have afriend apply sunscreen to your backand use a lip balm with a minimumof an SPF of 15. “It’s also importantto limit your time spent in the sun,especially between the hours of 10a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s raysare the strongest,” Kubaska says.
  7. 7. Tip # 6:Apply Generously & Reapply FrequentlyThe FDA calls SPF values over 50misleading and notes that there is noevidence that consumers receiveadded sun protection as SPFnumbers increase. “An SPF of 30 isideal for daily wear,” Rodan says.Rather than looking for a sunscreenwith a high SPF number, Rodansuggests purchasing an SPF 30sunscreen and ensuring that youapply it generously and reapplyfrequently for maximum protection.
  8. 8. Tip # 7:Wear Hats, Protective Clothing & SunglassesMany people have a false sense ofsecurity from wearing sunscreen,says Rodan, who reminds herpatients that sunscreen is only oneway to protect against the sun’sharmful rays. If you’re spending asignificant amount of time outdoors,consider wearing hats, protectiveclothing and sunglasses with at least99 percent UV protection. Avoidmidday sun exposure and alternatetime in the sun with time in theshade whenever possible.
  9. 9. Tip # 8:Keep Babies Out of Direct SunlightSpending hours in the sun isn’trecommended for babies. If yourlittle one is under 6 months old, besure to keep him or her out of directsunlight. The American Academy ofPediatrics recommends applying asmall amount of sunscreen to yourbaby’s face and backs of hands, ifprotective clothing and shade aren’tavailable. Children over the age of 6months should have sunscreenapplied to all areas of their body (butuse caution around the eyes).
  10. 10. Tip # 9:Remember, Everyone Needs Sun ProtectionMany people believe that those withfair skin are most apt to burn or bediagnosed with skin cancer, but eventhose with darker skin tones can getskin cancer and damage their skinfrom exposure to the sun. TheAmerican Academy of Dermatologyrecommends that people of all racesand ethnicities wear sunscreen.

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