May is Melanoma Awareness Month, a good excuse to brush up on sun protection knowledge. If you stop reading right here, just know that a moisturizer with SPF is a must every single day, from January 1st to December 31st. This will not only prevent skin cancer, but it will ensure that you age more gracefully.
Continue reading to refresh your SPF knowledge.
What is SPF? SPF = Sun Protection Factor. The number tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden your skin if you apply the sunscreen exactly as directed compared with the amount of time without sunscreen. So, if you use an SPF 30 product properly, it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen.
“SPF Math”. SPF 15 blocks about 94% of UVB rays; SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays; and SPF 45 blocks about 98%
UV rays are bad. UV rays lead to melanoma and 90% of signs of skin aging. Wear a moisturizer with SPF every day. Avoid laying out in the sun between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm when the sun is strongest. You will get a tan from being in the shade… And please do not use tanning beds.
UV rays are bad in different ways. UVA and UVB rays are both harmful. UVA rays cause wrinkling and skin aging. UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer. This is why you need to use a broad-spectrum SPF (meaning one that protects from both UVA and UVB rays).
Wear SPF even when indoors. UVA rays penetrate through glass windows. Let me say it again: wear SPF every day, even when you plan on staying inside all day.
Chemical versus physical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays. Physical sunblocks block UV rays. Both are better than not wearing sunscreen.
Vitamin D. Yes, we all need vitamin D. No, this is not a reason not to wear sunscreen every single day.
Please wear sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. Thank you!