States have relaxed their COVID-19 mandates. This Memorial Day holiday, many of us are excited to spend time with family and friends. One of our favorite destinations is the beach. Make sure you pack plenty of sun screen for your fun in the sun.
Here are some facts, followed by myths about sun screen use.
SUN SCREEN IS COMPLETELY SAFE TO USE
Despite some recent reports, it remains completely safe to use and is recommended by all health care professionals.
MORE IS BETTER
Most people only use about 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. Use a liberal amount to cover your skin, even as much as one ounce to your exposed skin. Remember to re-apply every two hours.
APPLY BEFORE GOING OUTDOORS
Sun screen should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outside so that it can completely bond to your skin.
HIGHER IS BETTER
Choose a Sun Protection (SPF) of 30 or higher. The 30 blocks out at least 97% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, while the lower SPF blocks 93%. SPF 50 will block 98% of the sun’s UV rays.
SUN SCREEN DOES EXPIRE
You should always check the expiration date on the bottle. Using expired sunscreen is not recommended. You should store sunscreen below 30ºC. If it is left in excessive heat over time, it may not be effective.
1 -- National Foundation for Research
2,3-- Life Science
4 -- Everyday Health
5 -- Cancer Council
IT’S JUST FOR GIRLS
I don’t know of a single guy looking forward to wrinkles, age spots or discolored skin. Using sun screen is critical in your fight against skin cancer, whether you’re a man or woman.
IT’S BOTH WATER AND SWEAT PROOF
Manufacturers can no longer market that their products are water or sweat proof. Water resistant sun screen is effective for up to 40 minutes in water and very water-resistant sun screen for up to 80 minutes. So, re-apply every two hours.
DARKER SKIN PEOPLE DON’T NEED IT
Darker skin people are just as susceptible to sun damage as lighter skin individuals.
TANNING BEDS PROVIDE A PROTECTIVE BASE
Exposing the body to high levels of UVA light from a tanning bed creates a temporary tan that will do very little to protect the skin from sun exposure and sunburns caused by UVB light.
THEY’RE ALL THE SAME
Using a full spectrum of sun screen is important because it will protect the skin against the largest range of UV light.
1 -- CDC
2-- National Foundation for Cancer Research
3 -- mdanderson.org
4,5 -- Medical News Today