Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sun Safety

Now that the weather has warmed and the sun is shining people tend to spend more time outside. But before you bask in the glory of the sun, here are some things to think about to keep your skin safe.

Did you know?

On average it takes just 15 minutes of unprotected time in the sun to cause a sunburn.

Facts about skin cancer:

  • Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the most common cancer for 25 to 29 year olds and the second most common cancer for 15 to 29 year olds.
  • Melanoma is increasing faster in females 15 to 29 years old than males in the same age group. In females 15 to 29 years old, the torso/trunk is the most common location for developing melanoma, which may be the result of high-risk tanning behaviors.
  • Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma, especially in women aged 45 years or younger.

What to look for in a sunscreen:

  1. SPF 30 or higher
  2. Broad spectrum protection (UVA/UVB)
  3. Water resistant
Sunscreens containing all the above have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer, sunburn, premature skin aging, precancerous skin growths, and dark spots1.  Once you have found your sunscreen, make sure you are applying it correctly. Always reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when you are outside, even on cloudy days!

Is my sunscreen from last year still good?

The FDA requires that sunscreen last for 3 years. Some sunscreens have a printed expiration date on the bottle. If your bottle does not have an expiration date, and you are not sure if it was from last year or longer, check for visible signs1. If a sunscreen has a change in color or consistency are signs that it’s time to buy a new one.

While sunscreen is the most commonly used skin protectant, some clothing brands offer special clothes with higher SPF protection. Hats can keep the sun off of your face, wide brimmed hats are suggested better for use over baseball caps as they cover the back of the neck and the ears as well as the face.

But what about my summer glow?

Any change in the skin color caused by exposure to the sun or tanning beds is considered skin damage. Although that tan may fade in the winter, the damage underneath is still there.  A skin healthy alternative is self tanner or a sunless tanning salon.

For tips on how to apply self tanner like a pro:


Blog post by Erin Womboldt.