With constant advertising and claims surrounding sunscreen, it can be difficult to know what information is accurate and which claims are false. Understanding the truth is critical to skin care and can help prevent melanoma and other problems associated with sun exposure. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions that will help make sunscreen decisions easier to make and time spent in the sun safer.
What Is The Highest And Most Effective Level Of SPF?
With levels from 0 to 80, choosing the right SPF can be daunting. Experts agree that SPF 50 is the most effective level, and anything labeled as having an SPF over 50 is purely a marketing ploy. When applied properly, SPF 50 offers the maximum effective sun protection needed for sun safety.
Does Hair Need Protection?
Hair color can fade in the sun so applying a spray in sunscreen for hair can protect color. However, hair sunscreens do not provide scalp protection so experts advise wearing a hat to protect the delicate skin on the scalp.
What Is The Right Way To Apply Sunscreen?
Proper application is key to full protection. Remember the 30-20-2-1 rule to make application easy and effective.
- 30: the minimum SPF approved for sun safety.
- 20: minutes before sun exposure when sunscreen should be applied.
- 2: number of hours sunscreen is effective for when not in contact with water or sweat.
- 1: ounces of sunscreen necessary to fully cover the body.
Avoid Sting By Keeping Sunscreen Out Of Eyes
Protecting the face is important, but many people often complain of eye irritation and stinging caused by chemicals found in sunscreen. This is avoidable by using a waterproof formula with natural ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide around the eye area.
Time And Application Matter
Sunscreen is effective for approximately two hours when not exposed to excessive sweat and water, so it is imperative to keep an eye on the time. Use a spray on sunscreen or wear a shirt with a built in UV ray protector to protect difficult to reach back areas.
Eat Right For Skin Health
Nutrients like phytochemicals including lycopene have been found to help improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV damage. Experts agree that eating a variety of red and orange vegetables may help enhance skin’s natural protection abilities and are even working on creating a pill form sunscreen. Until then, one can stay safe by eating a healthy diet full of color and apply sunscreen properly.
There is no reason not to get outdoors and live an active life. By simply following these sunscreen facts, one can stay safe while being out and enjoying the sun. Remembering the facts around SPF selection, proper application, the 30-20-2-1 guideline and eating right can lower risks for melanoma and other skin cancers and can ensure that time spent out in the sun is time spent safely. As long as one adheres to these guidelines, their skin will protected and can stay healthy for a long time to come.