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How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun This Summer

Sunshine, fresh air, dinners al fresco: just a few reasons we’re counting down the days until the summer months. And before temperatures start to rise, we’re getting prepped – with beach chairs, flowy dresses and the most important aspect of a fun-filled summer: SPF. Because if there’s one thing that’s almost always guaranteed to ruin a gorgeous beach day, it’s a sunburn. Not only can too much time in the sun lead to the painful symptoms of a burn, but the damaging effects from the sun can lead to premature skin aging, skin discoloration, and even skin cancer, including melanoma.1 In fact, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Studies show that 1 in 5 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer by age 702; having a sunburn 5 or more times can double your risk for melanoma. That’s why we’re passionate about protecting your skin, with a variety of sunscreens to fit nearly every preference. But sun protection goes beyond just applying sunscreen.

 

Here, a few sun care ground rules to keep in mind before you hit the beach this season.

 

1. Wear a high-quality broad-spectrum sunscreen like the Obagi Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens are formulated to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, the two types of UV light that damage the skin.

 

2. Use sunscreen every day, whether you’ll be in the sun for 5 minutes or extended periods of time.

Even if you’re spending your days inside an office, you’re still exposed to UV radiation for brief periods of time throughout the day.

 

3. Remember that makeup that contains SPF should not replace your daily sunscreen.

 

4. To ensure proper SPF coverage, apply 1 oz. (about 1 full espresso shot) on your entire body.

Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which results in an SPF of half to a quarter of what is labeled on the bottle.

 

5. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow time to be absorbed by the skin.

 

6. Reapplying sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place.

You should reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating.

 

7. It is necessary to wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day.

Approximately 40% of the sun’s radiation reaches the earth’s surface even when it’s completely cloudy outside.

 

8. Consider your sunglasses and wide-brimmed hat your best friends.

Aside from looking cute poolside, wearing protective clothing is one of the best ways to protect against the damaging effects of the sun.

 

References:

1. Sunburn. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunburn/DS00964. Accessed May 10, 2013. 2. Skin cancer facts. Skin Cancer Foundation Web site. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts. Accessed May 10, 2013. 3. Best sunscreen: understand sunscreen options. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/best-sunscreen/MY01350. Accessed May 10, 2013. 4. Sunscreens explained. Skin Cancer Foundation Web site. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens.... Accessed May 10, 2013. 5. Sunscreen and your makeup routine. WebMD Web site. http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/sunscreen-and-your-makeup-routine. Accessed May 10, 2013 *Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher together with a comprehensive sun protection program including wearing sun protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and avoiding the sun between the hours of 10am - 2pm may help reduce the risk of premature skin aging.