Because the summer sun is shining strong, it is best to use sunscreen to protect your skin. One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. Shopping for sunscreen requires some knowledge.

When buying sunscreen, there are three things to look for:

  1. Broad Spectrum: Choosing one with the words Broad Spectrum is very important because this protects the skin from UVA rays and UVB rays. These are the types of sun’s rays that cause skin cancer.
  2. SPF of 30 (or Higher): This number indicates how strong the sunscreen protects against SUNBURN. Choosing anything lower increases your risk of burning.
  3. Water-resistant: Choosing a water-resistant sunscreen for greater than 40 minutes is important because not all sunscreens are waterproof or sweat-proof. This type can help keep your skin protected for more extended periods.

When using sunscreen, be sure to reapply every one to two hours to prevent exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. In addition, utilizing enough sunscreen is also important. As a rule of thumb, you should apply one ounce of actual sunscreen. This amount is similar to what would fill a small shot glass. Even though sunscreen helps prevent exposure, be sure to spend time in the shade, wear SPF-protected clothing when possible, and wear a hat to keep your face protected. 

For more tips on choosing a sunscreen, click here

Rebecca Herrmann, RDN, LDN

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