Summer is right around the corner which means hot weather, less clothes and more exposed skin, and that means more area to cover with sunscreen. Of course, sunscreen is the last thing on our minds tucked away behind the thoughts of BBQ food, lower beer prices, women in bikinis and swimming. Though overlooked, sunscreen is very important. When we think about the damage the sun does to our skin, we think of the pain of the sunburn. It’s a miserable week but after that there’s no harm, right? WRONG! The amount of damage the sun causes on your body goes beyond sunburns. Even though you may not feel it, the damage caused by one sunburn will last within your body for your entire life and strengthens your chances of undesired skin conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic these include “…dry, wrinkled skin; liver spots; actinic keratoses; and skin cancer, including melanoma.” Various activities call for different types of sunscreens, so make sure you are prepared to be as protected as possible during all of these activities.
Waterproof sunscreens. If you are going swimming it’s important to use a waterproof sunscreen or else the sunscreen will wash right off your body leaving your skin exposed and unprotected from the sun.
Waterproof and Sports sunscreens. These are great for anyone who is active because normal sunscreens will run into your eyes when you sweat causing irritation, whereas waterproof sunscreens are resistant to sweat and will keep your eyes free of sunscreen.
Sunblock. Sunblock is more effective than sunscreen as it blocks out more of the sun’s rays and lasts longer.
High SPF sunscreen. I know this sounds counterproductive, but it’s always safety first. What good is a suntan without your health? According to Wikipedia, “The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on, relative to the amount required without the sunscreen.” The high SPF sunscreen will allow you to tan while blocking out the sun for a longer period of time, so if you find your self having fun on the beach and lose track of time you will be protected longer.
Sunblock. Wikipedia reads, “Although some believe that sun block and sunscreen are both the same, they are not. Although they have similar properties and are both important in caring of the skin, sunblock is opaque and is stronger than sunscreen since it is able to block a majority of the UVA/UVB rays and radiation from the sun, thus not having to be reapplied several times a day. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are two of the important ingredients in sunblock.”
Mayo clinic: Sun burn http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sunburn/DS00964
Wikipedia Sunscreen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunscreen