Enjoy the Sun (Without Harming Your Skin)

Enjoy the Sun (Without Harming Your Skin)

We all enjoy more time outdoors when the sun is out. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime as a result of sun exposure. The good news is that sunscreen and covering up can help prevent skin cancer including its deadliest form, melanoma.

“Understanding how sunscreen works can help you better protect your skin, reducing the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging,” says Dr. Rebecca Bremner of The Oregon Clinic Portland Dermatology. Physicians recommend regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreens on sun-exposed skin to help prevent skin cancer and slow visible signs of aging.

Choose the Right Sunscreen

For the best protection, sunscreen should be SPF 50+ and broad-spectrum (able to protect against UVA and UVB). SPF refers only to how well sunscreen protects against UVB.

Look for these key UVA-blocking ingredients: Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide

How Much Sunscreen Do I Need?

About 1 ounce—a shot glass full or a large adult handful—should be enough to cover an adult’s entire body.

How Often Should I Apply Sunscreen?

Sunscreen loses effectiveness after a few hours. You should apply ample amounts of sunscreen every 2 hours, even if you’re not sweating or swimming. Apply sunscreen prior to sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen before spending prolonged time in the car, since UVA passes through the glass windows and can harm skin.

Avoid Direct Sunlight & Wear Sun-Protective Clothing

Avoid midday sun exposure and cover up with clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Thorough sun protection requires multiple elements: effective sunscreen, protective clothing and avoiding peak UV hours between 10am and 2pm, when rays are most harmful.

For more information, contact The Oregon Clinic at 503-935-8000 or visit www.oregonclinic.com.