Sunscreen 101: The Six Most Important Things to Know

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to reinforce and educate on the importance of sun protection.

  1. Look for the words Broad Spectrum. This means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause aging and skin cancer, UVB rays cause sunburn.  The best UVB protection is zinc, and we recommend products with at least 6%.
  2. Look for an SPF between 30 and 50.  Lower numbers don’t protect enough, higher SPF numbers have not been shown to be any more protective. SPF is only an indicator of protection against UVB rays.
  3. Apply adequate amounts to cover your entire body.  It takes approximately one ounce per application to cover the entire body, most people only use half of that amount
  4. Reapply every 2 hours even if you don’t get wet or sweat. No sunscreen is waterproof or sweat proof. At best, they are water resistant for either 40 or 80 minutes. This will be on the label.
  5. Apply sunscreen every day. UV rays can penetrate clouds and glass, so be protected.
  6. Limit sun exposure between times of maximal UV radiation – between 10 am and  2 pm. Don’t forget that clothing provides some sun protection.