Spring has sprung and many of us seek out the sun like sunflowers. Sunlight is an important ingredient for making Vitamin D, which keeps our bones strong, fights disease and helps prevent some cancers. The recommendation is to get 10-20 minutes of sun exposure each day. However, the sun’s UV rays can damage our skin ranging from mild burns to skin cancers. UV blocking clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreens are a must, even on cloudy days!
Consider these sunscreen tips from Palmetto Health's medical director of Health and Wellness, Rachel Brown, MD.
- Good as new. Buy sunscreen each year and make sure it protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- More is better. Apply SPF 30 or higher at least 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every two hours. The sun is strongest from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., or when reflected by water and sand, so reapply sunscreen more often. No sunscreens are truly waterproof!
- Keep close. When using a spray-on sunscreen, spray close to skin for best coverage and do not use around your mouth, eyes and nose. Use creams or roll-ons around those areas.
- Cover your bases. Cover your entire body including ears, between the toes, and underarms. Use a lip balm that blocks UV rays.