If you care the least bit about your skin, then you probably apply some sort of sunscreen or sunblock to your skin before going outside, but do you really know what to look for in these products? Did you hesitate there for a second? If so, then you might want to continue reading.
According to a new survey conducted by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, less than 50 percent of the 114 individuals who participated in the survey knew what to look for in the label when it comes to purchasing a sunscreen. For instance, SPF stands for “sun protection factor” yet only 49 percent of the people who participated in the survey knew this.
Furthermore, the majority of participants – 81 percent – were convinced that the higher the protection, the better the protection against sun damage and skin cancer. That’s actually false. It’s not enough for a sunscreen to have a high SPF number. It should also protect your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays, which will be labeled as “broad spectrum.”
Of course, protecting your skin doesn’t just end at lathering on the sunscreen.There are several other precautions you can take to ensure that your skin stays healthy and beautiful. Check out these following tips that we provided in a recent article about melanoma about how to protect your skin from the scorching hot sun this summer:
- Always apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed areas of the skin at least 15 minutes before stepping foot outside, and be sure to do this all year round! Lastly, reapply every two hours.
- For those hard-to-reach areas, including the back, grab a close friend or family member and ask them to apply it for you. Better yet, a lot of sunscreens come in the form of a spray so you can avoid those awkward backrubs.
- If you can, avoid being outdoors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Why? That’s when the UV rays are the strongest.
- Examine your skin thoroughly every month.
- Wear protective clothing, including UV-blocking sunglasses and sun hats.
- Planning on being outside all day? Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a SPF of 30 or higher.