Before you slather on sunscreen for your next family beach day, ballpark date or bicycle ride, it’s a good idea to get schooled on the basics. Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer. There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to sun protection, so it’s important to get your facts straight.
- Once A Day Doesn’t Cut It
If you are a desk jockey and only pop out for an al fresco lunch, you are probably fine with a once a day dose of sunscreen. However, if you are outside, exercising, sweating or taking a dip in the pool, one application won’t cut it. The FDA recommends reapplying every two hours. .
- A Little Dab Won’t Do
It doesn’t matter how high the SPF is, if you’re not applying enough sunscreen your skin will pay. Apply enough sunscreen to cover all areas not protected by clothing. Most folks need approximately one ounce, which is equivalent to a “full shot glass” or a “palm-full” to coat exposed skin. And remember no sunscreen is completely waterproof, so reapply after swimming.
- All Sun isn’t the Same
Your risk of burning from sun exposure actually changes based on several factors. For instance, if you are at a high elevation there is less atmosphere between you and the sun. And be extra careful when recreating near reflective surfaces such as sand, water and snow, which will up your risk of sun damage.
- Check the Expiration Date
Think twice before you reach for that ancient tube of sunscreen squirreled away in a forgotten beach bag. If the expiration date on the sunscreen has passed, you should toss it. Can’t find an expiration date? Changes in the color or consistency of the sunscreen may also indicate expired or ineffective sunscreen. Don’t risk a sunburn, when in doubt, throw it out!