It is the time of the year when we are outside the most and enjoying the beautiful sunny days. As we take in our extra dose of Vitamin D, we should keep in mind that our skin must be protected from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. I am sure you have heard about UVA and UVB, these are the two types of ultraviolet rays coming from the sun which can cause damage to our skin. Sunscreen helps protect our skin against skin cancer, as well as preventing sunburn and early signs of aging.
When choosing the right sunscreen one must keep in mind some important features according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Make sure that you find a sunscreen that is:
- SPF 30 and up. Don’t forget to protect your lips with lip balm that has SPF 30 as well.
- Broad spectrum, which means that it provides protection against both UVA and UVB.
- Water resistant, which means that it will work for up to 40 minutes in the water. “Very water resistant”, means effective for up to 80 minutes in the water. The recommendation is that you should still be reapplying at least every 2 hours.
In addition to sunscreen, limiting direct exposure to the sun is important. Try to avoid exposure to the sun between 10-2 pm.
Wear protective clothing. It is best to use long sleeves, a hat and sunglasses when possible.
What about the babies?
Avoid exposing the babies to the sun if younger than 6 months of age. It is recommended to keep them on the shade. Dress them with long sleeves, pants and a hat that has a wide brim. They can wear some cool sunglasses too. Make sure that are very well hydrated by offering plenty of fluids/water. If the babies become upset and fussy, are crying more than normal or have redness in skin, they should be taken indoor. You may use sunscreen for babies that are 6 months and older.
Have a bright summer and keep your skin and your family’s skin healthy by protecting it from the sun!