The snow has melted, the temperatures are getting warmer, and the sun is shining… which means that people are going to be spending more time enjoying the great outdoors. As the temperatures rise we tend to wear less clothing and expose more skin, which also leaves our skin more exposed the sun’s damaging rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 1 in 5 adults will face a skin cancer diagnosis at some point in their life and in about 90% of the cases skin cancer risks directly correlate with the individual’s level of exposure to UV light. We all know that we need to be wearing sunscreen anytime that we are going to be spending time outdoors, numerous research studies have proven that the use of sunscreen can reduce your risk of melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer. When standing in the isle or looking at all of the numerous sunscreen products available online, how do you know which SPF you should choose for you and your specific skin type?
The sun emits two different types of rays, UVA and UVB, both of which are harmful to our skin and can cause skin cancer. UVB rays tend to burn the skin while the UVA rays accelerate the aging process, causing wrinkles and age spots. In order to protect your skin for both UVA and UVB rays, experts from the Mayo Clinic highly recommend using products that are clearly labeled as having broad-spectrum or full-spectrum protection.
SPF, which stands for sun protection factor, refers to how well the sunscreen deflects UVB rays and how long it will protect the skin before sunburns occur after using the product. The main contributing factor to the effectiveness of the sunscreen, no matter what the SPF is, depends on if it is used according to the instructions. Pay close attention to ensure that sunscreen is applied thoroughly and thickly, and re-applied frequently. Things like sweating and swimming can cause sunscreen to wash off, leaving your skin re-exposed to the sun’s damaging rays. The FDA urges that even when using products that are water resistant it is extremely important to make sure that they are reapplied after 40-80 minutes of perspiration or swimming.
Experts from the Mayo Clinic suggest looking for a broad-spectrum and water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and using it according to instructions on the product label, as well as not using it past its expiration date. According to the new FDA guidelines, products with an SPF range of 2-14 can advertise that they protect the skin from sunburn, but they can’t protect against skin cancer or premature aging of the skin.
Experts everywhere advocate that the best way to protect our skin from the sun is to use a combination of sunscreen, protective clothing, and staying in the shade, especially during peak midday hours when the sun is the most intense. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that you like so you will be more apt to use it consistently, and remember that the sun’s rays can pass through the clouds so it’s important to protect our skin even on cloudy days.
Mountainside Medical Equipment knows how important skin care is, which is why we’ve dedicated a section of our website to skin care products
, including sunscreens, chapsticks, skin renewal creams and lotions, and anti-aging products. Browse through our comprehensive product line today and see what might work best for you and your family.