It is important to educate yourself on the correct use of sunscreen, because sunscreen is an important tool in preventing skin cancer. Keep in mind that sunscreen doesn't block all of the sun's harmful rays, it just screens them.
The following are some reminders about how to find the most beneficial sunscreen, how to use it correctly, and other things you can do to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
- Be certain the sunscreen offers UVA and UVB protection.
- Look for sunscreens that contain products such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, benzenes, PARSOL 1789, Mexoryl or Helioplex.
- Daily use of sunscreen should be as much a part of EVERYONE'S morning routine as brushing their teeth, and should be applied year round.
- The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying at least 2 tablespoons of sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplying it every two hours, even on cloudy days and always immediately after excessive sweating or swimming since sunscreen is not waterproof.
- Apply sunscreen to any exposed area of your skin including your face, neck, chest, ears, hands and when applicable bald areas on your head.
- Daily moisturizers and makeup that contain sunscreen are not sufficient to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
- Stay in the shade or avoid being outside between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun's rays are the most intense.
- Wear protective clothing such as a long sleeved shirt and pants, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use caution near water, snow and sand since they reflect the damaging rays of the sun and can increase the chance of sunburn.