Healthy skin needs to be protected. With the approach of summer, we're spending more time outdoors with our family. So be sure you know what type of sunscreen to buy — and how to apply it. Just follow these five easy steps, recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
1. Choose sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage. These will protect you from UVA and UVB rays.
2. Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the lotion and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
3. Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about enough to fill a shot glass or the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.
4. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet, and legs. For hard-to-reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide-brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.
5. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. “Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter, so remember to always use sunscreen when outdoors,” says Amanda Friedrichs, M.D., a board certified dermatologist. “It’s important that people take the time to choose an effective sunscreen and properly apply it.”
For more skin cancer prevention tips, visit the Academy's SpotSkinCancer.org