The Importance of Sunscreen


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With summer practically here, the weather outside is getting a lot warmer. The warm weather means more trips to the beach, pools, lakes, waterparks, and all other fun summer activities. During the summer, most people spend a lot of their time outside, completely exposed to the sun. Protect your skin from the harmful sunrays by applying sunscreen.

Many believe that sunscreen prevents tanning all together, but that is false. Sunscreen reflects some of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that the sun gives off. There’s no sunscreen that can prevent 100% of the UV rays from the sun hitting you. Sunscreen can still give you a tan while doing its job of preventing sunburn, wrinkling, skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, etc.

Overexposure to the sun can cause first and second degree burns. According to, sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher, do an excellent job of preventing the UV radiation from damaging the skin. Sunscreens with an SPF of 15 protects your skin from approximately 93 percent of ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. SPF 30 prevents 97 percent of UVB rays. Sunscreens with SPF 50 block out about 98 percent.

Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B are different things. Sunscreen is mainly a defender against sunburn, which happens because of UVB rays. Ultraviolet A has an impact on skin as well, but aside from sunburn, it leads to wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other deeper effects to the skin that causes aging.

On nice days, you’re not going to want to stay home all day. Plan a day at the beach, swim in a pool, go for a walk, whatever you do, make sure to apply sunscreen. If you plan on spending at least 30 minutes outdoors, apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes before you even step foot outside. Applying beforehand makes the sunscreen more effective. If you plan on getting a lot of sun, cover all skin that is exposed to sun with sunscreen and continue to do so every 3 hours.

Caring for your skin can help defend against permanent damage. Who wants sunburn, wrinkling, dark spots, any kind of skin aging, or even skin cancer? Next time you spend some time outside, remember to use sunscreen.

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