As we plan to spend our summers Living Poolside, undoubtedly we will be looking at our supply of sunscreen. Here are a few things to remember before you lather up!
Define SPF again?
SPF = Sun Protection Factor: “SPF 15, for example, means it would take your skin 15 times longer to get red than if you were wearing no protection at all. So if your unprotected skin begins to redden after 10 minutes in the sun, then with a generous coat of SPF 15, it would take 150 minutes for your skin to begin to turn red, but to get this protection, you'd have to slather sunscreen on as thick as icing.” Per the WebMD website.
They go on to suggest buying the SPF 30…
"So we're really getting, say, half the number that's on the bottle so just buy the [SPF] 30," That's what the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends, too.”
Please remember that additional factors including the sun's intensity, your geographic location and your skin type also come into play and affect the effectiveness of any sunscreen so use the SPF as a guide but not a guarantee
What does broad spectrum mean?
A product carrying a “broad spectrum” label means that it offers protection from both UVA & UVB rays.
Should I apply the lotion while I am indoors or does it really matter?
Experts suggest that sunscreen be applied initially while indoors, 15 to 30 minutes prior to going outside.
How much is enough?
A medium frame adult should use a quantity of sunscreen approximately the size of a golf ball.
Is it water resistant?
In 2012 sunscreen manufacturers were required to add clear messages on the labels stating how long water-resistant sunscreens maintain protection after the user swims or sweats. Labels must specify either 40 or 70 minutes of protection. If the lotion is not water resistant, it is required to carry a warning label to that effect.
Does it protect against skin cancer?
If the product has an SPF rating of 15 or higher the label can list it as protecting against skin cancer.
Are The Guidelines Different For Children?
Use sparingly on babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you keep a baby under the age of 6 months out of the sun. We suggest discussing this with your pediatrician in advance – they can assist you in making the right choices for your little one.
No Sprays! The FDA is exploring the risks of inhaling spray sunscreens, which could be greatest among children. Until the agency completes its analysis, they recommend spray sunscreens not be used on or by children unless you have no other product available. In that case, spray it on your hands first, then rub it on your child. And as with all sunscreens, be especially careful when applying it to faces and take care to avoid their eyes and mouth.
Reapply often. Reapply after swimming or toweling off unless the lotion is listed as water resistant in which case you can follow the instructions on the label.
***Check the expiration dates! Sunscreen does expire so make sure to check the expiration dates on the containers!***
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only.