This week as the temperatures are rising everyone needs to protect their skin and wear sunscreen.

Here are some tips about sunscreen and protecting your skin from the sun’s short-term and long-term harmful rays:

What does sunscreen do?

Sunscreen shields the skin from the sun’s harmful invisible ultraviolet rays

UVA rays are the long-term aging rays

UVB rays are the short-term burning rays

UVC rays burn off before they reach earth’s atmosphere

Sunscreen shields your skin from UVA and UVB. It also protects your skin from “free radical damage”, which causes permanent damage to your skin.

I never get sunburned, why should I wear sunscreen?

Sunburn– red skin — is a reaction to UVB rays alone. It’s impossible to tell how much UVA damage you are getting until years from now. Unfortunately, plenty of long-term skin damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised.

What does the SPF number mean?

SPF stands for sun protection factor and is a measure of the protection against UV-B rays offered by a given sunscreen. The higher the SPF number, the greater the degree of protection. The number is calculated as the amount of UV radiation required to cause a sunburn with a user wearing the sunscreen as opposed to not wearing the sunscreen

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before being in direct sunlight.

 

Despite what the label says, if you are spending time outdoors, all sunscreens, no matter what the SPF value, must be reapplied every two hours and after swimming or exercise.

 

Tips….

Tip 1: Don’t just think about your face areas such as the lips, ears, hair parting, and the tops of your feet can become pretty painful when burnt so ensure you extend application to these areas

Tip 2: In addition to using sunscreen, seek shade whenever possible, and wear sun-protective clothing, broad-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses.

Tip 3: Check the best before date/how long the lifetime of the sun protection is.  Once that date has passed, the active ingredients may not work as effectively as they should.  Get into the habit of putting a sticker on the sunscreen once open so you can note how long you have been using it for