However, exactly what type of sunscreen? And how do you choose from the plethora of options available – from drugstore brands to luxury options at department stores? Choosing the right sunscreen is most important to keep you and your family safe this summer – and all year.
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, the following guidelines are recommended; choose a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. A fun fact is that all sunscreens contain UVB protection, but not all contain UVA protection too. UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging.
Now what about the SPF number? It is recommended to choose an SPF of 30 or higher. Keep in mind, that the higher the SPF number means the smaller the difference between the numbers; SPF 30 filters out about 97% rays compared to SPF 50 that filters out about 98%. No sunscreen completely protects you, but the higher percentages will provide a better defense against the sun.
Lastly, water resistant does not mean waterproof! This can be a large factor in people getting burned while in the water, because they don’t remember to reapply once getting out and drying off. Sunscreen bottles will specify how long the product will last while swimming or sweating. It is recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more. Bear in mind sunscreen can also rub off while towel drying.
Other reminders for sun safety are to cover up with a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses, limit direct sun exposure especially between 10 AM and 4 PM, and avoid tanning beds and sunlamps, which both cause serious longterm skin damage and contribute to skin cancer.
To find out more about skin protection and other types of cancer related topics, please visit our website, cancer.org. The staff of the Marco Island Unit of the American Cancer Society wishes you a safe and happy summer with your loved ones!
This is an ongoing series of columns dedicated to informing the Marco Island community about the American Cancer Society, the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health concern by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. The Marco Island American Cancer Society office is located at 583 Tallwood St., Suite 101 and is open daily from 9 AM-5 PM. For more information about volunteering or any of the events mentioned in this column please contact Sue Olszak or Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3890.