Did you know that without sunscreen, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes?
It’s no coincidence that National Skin Cancer Awareness Month also happens to fall right around the time that many of us are spending more time outside. Of course, May isn’t the only time we should be protecting ourselves from the sun’s rays. An estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Unprotected skin leads to premature aging, wrinkles, dryness, and age spots.
Here are some ways to tackle the most common type of cancer
Get into a morning routine
It’s hard to remember to apply sunscreen every day, but one of the easiest ways to get into the habit is by performing it during your morning routine. UV rays can break through the clouds even on rainy, overcast days. So apply your sunscreen (at least an SPF 30) every morning. Always consider it the last step of your skincare routine at anytime of the year, even winter.
Double up on product
Let’s be honest: You’ll be more likely use sunscreen if it serves more than one purpose. That’s where moisturizer comes in; many SPF products not only protect your skin but also help fight wrinkles and moisturize dry skin. If you’re looking for a bargain, we suggest any of the EltaMD broad spectrum sunscreens. Elta is great for all skin types and also have a ranging SPF from 30-56. Our favorite? Elta UV Physical comes tinted so it can be your sunscreen, moisturizer, AND a makeup base.
Use more of it
Just adding a quick dab of sunscreen to your face isn’t enough. You should aim for about a quarter-sized squirt to cover your face adequately. And if you’re applying it to your entire body, you’ll need close to an ounce of the product. In general, sunscreen wears off even if you aren’t wet and needs to be reapplied every two hours as long as you’re in the sun.
As a reminder;
Check expiration dates: Always check your sunscreen’s expiration date. Most have a shelf life of no more than three years. Expired sunscreen has literally fallen apart, so the formulation no longer works as a sun protectant.
UV rays can be harmful without being direct: UV rays can be transmitted through windows and glass so even if you plan on not going outside in direct sunlight to make sure you still apply a sunscreen daily regardless of season, weather and time to protect your skin. Even on cloudy days!
Some medications increase sun sensitivity
There are many medications which may make the skin extra susceptible to sun. These include anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and acne medications. Oral medications Doxycycline and Minocycline used in the treatment of acne may cause skin problems when exposed to direct and prolonged UV. Isotretinoin, popularly called Accutane, is a vitamin A derived medication which may make your skin burn easily. Topical acne products, such as vitamin A derived tretinoin and benzoyl peroxide, may make certain skin types burn easier through photosensitization and irritation, respectively. So be extra cautious when taking these drugs while exposed to the sun.
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