With summer knocking on our doors, it is extremely important that we be ready for it. Aside from flip-flops, straw hats, bathing suits and sunglasses, there is one more thing that is crucial for those ripe sunny days, that many of us seem to be forgetting lately. It’s sunscreen, and it is the key item for making it through summer unharmed.
Scented or unscented, cream, lotion or the spray-on version, sunscreen is your best ally this summer. Whichever version you like best, sunscreen should be used every time when you are exposing yourself to the sun.
Even the CDC points out that sunscreen is something that we need to pay more attention to, because it is the simplest way to stay clear of the dangerous rays of the hot summer sun, that are the main factor causing skin cancer.
According to a study conducted on 4,000 surveys regarding lifestyle preferences and choices, extremely few people seem to be using sun-block on a regular basis.
Out of all the 4,000 subjects, less than 33% said that they protect their face with sunscreen during summer. Furthermore, out of all the male participants, only 14% use sunscreen, which is a tremendously low number.
It would seem that the women are more attentive when it comes to the protection of their skin, with 30% of female subjects who have reported using sunscreen. However, since many of the face creams that women use regularly have an SPF of 15, it becomes clear why there is such a difference between men and women.
“About 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year.(…) Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun — and this exposure can be lessened by sunscreen use.” says the American Council on Science and Health.
There is another aspect that is usually highly disregarded among sun lovers. In order to get the complete effect of the sunscreen you are using, it is essential that you apply it correctly, because the placebo effect will not be enough to protect you from sunburn and other more complicated consequences.
Firstly, you need to know what kind of sunscreen to use. Dermatology specialist Dr. Sara Heilig recommends the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, that has the ability to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Moreover, the SPF should be of at least 30 and it should be higher for people with sensitive skin.
Secondly, it is very important to know how to apply the type of sunscreen that you are using. And while the spray-on version clearly appears to be most accessible, the truth is that this type is actually the trickiest.
If it’s a windy day and you’re using spray-on sunscreen, there is a great chance that most of it will be blown away without ever reaching your skin. The correct way to apply it is by spraying it close to your skin and then carefully rubbing it in. The same should be done with the cream and lotion versions.
The face should always be protected with stronger sunscreen, and no patch of uncovered skin should be left unprotected. The ears and the toes are most commonly disregarded and are prone to sunburns.
Lastly, it is essential to your protection that you renew your sunscreen every two hours when exposed to the sun. This is the most common period of time that most sunscreens offer protection for.
Bearing all of this in mind, take a bottle of sunscreen with you to the beach this Memorial Day weekend and don’t forget the ears!
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