Now that summer is almost over, you’re probably thinking you don’t need sunscreen. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US which is why it’s important and necessary to apply sunscreen. Sunscreen is an effective protective agent against damage from the sun’s powerful rays for all ages, genders, and skin types; lessening the chance of developing skin cancer. It is recommended to seek shade during the brightest time of the day which are between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (or 2pm).
According to dermatologists, sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. There are two types of UV rays known as UVA and UVB rays. These rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Both UVA and UVB rays are carcinogens (cancer-causing).
• UVB has a B for “burning” – these rays are the ones most commonly associated with sunburns when skin is exposed to sun.
• UVA has an A for “aging” – these rays beams cause fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. They are most commonly associated with skin aging that cause wrinkles and potentially skin cancer (although less than UVB) after repeated exposure. UVA rays have the ability to pass through glass. UVA rays make up more than 90% of all UV radiation, and penetrate clouds and glass, year-round.
AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommends using a broad-spectrum protection sunscreen that offers protection against both types. The suggested SPF (Sun Protection Factor) should be of at least 30 and must be reapplied every 80 mins if in water or every 2 hours if dry.
Even if you have darker skin or tan rather than burn, skin cancer is non-discriminatory and can be diagnosed for any age, gender, or skin type. The great news is that sunscreen can now be found in some cosmetics. This was not the case years ago but because it is more important now to apply sunscreen, certain brands have included sunscreen in their products.
For face: There are now many facial moisturizers that contain sunscreen, and this is adequate for regular daily use if the majority of your day is spent indoors and/or out of direct sunlight.
• Choose a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) sunscreen with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide if you have acne-prone skin or if you experience skin irritation with other chemical-containing sunscreens. Consult your doctor if sunscreens cause persistent significant skin irritation, or if you believe that you have a sunscreen allergy.
• There are now several powder-based products containing mineral sunscreens that can be applied over moisturizer or make-up. Tinted (skincolored) products are available.
For lips: lip-balm containing SPF30 is recommended.
For body: UVA/UVB (broad spectrum) coverage greater than SPF50 is recommended
• lotion, cream, gel is recommended over spray
• consider using SPF30-50 UV-blocking articles of clothing as an alternative to sunscreen.
This infographic provides more information on sun protection.
I like to use Ocean Potion which I purchased in TJ Maxx. It has a pleasant smell and is smooth during application. This sunscreen is available in retail stores such as Walmart, Stop n’ Shop & ShopRite or online retailers such as Etailz.com, Amazon.com, Jet.com & Walmart.com.
To read more on sunscreen click here