SUN PROTECTION BASICS
Updated: Jan 17
Why is this important?
Skin cancer prevention. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Sun protection significantly reduces your risk of developing skin cancer. While preventing sunburns is important, daily sun exposure that causes tanned skin can also lead to skin cancer.
Premature skin aging. Sun protection helps to prevent wrinkles and “age” spots.
When should I protect myself?
Everyday! 365 days per year, regardless of the weather or season.
The sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds and the regular glass windows of homes and automobiles. For example, sun exposure accumulates while driving to work or walking into the grocery store.
How should I protect myself?
Avoid peak hours. The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 am and 2 pm.
Do NOT use indoor tanning beds. Using tanning beds can increase your risk of melanoma by nearly 60%, and the risk increases with each tanning bed session.
Wide-brimmed hats provide more protection than ball caps.
Long-sleeves & pants including rash-guards for beach/outdoor swimming activities.
Consider UPF rated “sun-protective clothing”. Brands include: Coolibar and UV Skins
Choosing a Sunscreen / 3 main requirements:
SPF 30 (if darker skin type) -or- SPF 50 (if lighter skin type or history of skin cancer)
“Broad-spectrum” coverage (UVA/UVB protection)
Avoid sprays. While convenient, sprays may not provide uniform sun protection.
CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Mineral Face
Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin
Cotz Prime & Protect tinted ($, online) Bare Republic Mineral
La-Roche Posay Antihelios Mineral ($, drugstore)
Elta MD “Elements” or “Physical” ($, online)
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch
CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Mineral Body
Bare Republic Mineral
Apply generously. Most adults need at least one palm-full of sunscreen to cover their exposed skin.
Apply to all exposed skin. Don’t forget your scalp (if you have thinning hair), neck, ears, lips, the back of your hands & the top of your feet.
Reapply frequently, every 2 hours &/or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.