We’ve all heard it before and by now should know to wear SPF daily and to be especially careful when playing or exercising in the sun. But did you know your sunscreen provides you the best coverage for just 2-3 hours or so after application? If you are in the sun longer than 2 hours, for the most effective sun protection, you must reapply!
When shopping for a sunscreen most people think SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works.
An SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offer 100% protection.
Here are a few tips to help improve your protection:
Wear clothes with SPF coverage.
Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, reducing risk by 27%. There are even SPF clothing lines out there which provide you an SPF of 50+ protection and blocks 98% UVA/UVB rays!
This is one of Dr.Wright’s favorites: http://www.coolibar.com
Plan around the sun.
Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.
Find shade (or make it!)
Picnic under a tree or take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade, reducing the risk of multiple burns by 30%. Seek shade or avoid the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. – 4.pm. The sun is strongest during those hours, even on cloudy days.
Sunglasses are essential.
Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, and prevent crows feet!
Check UV Index
The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure. There are even apps out now that will tell you the rating depending on your location!