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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

5 Tips on How to Choose the Right Sunscreen

Sunscreens not only protect us from sunburn but also from the bad side effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. While sunburn is uncomfortable, UV rays are even more dangerous because they can cause skin cancer.

How UV Rays Damage the Skin

There are two types of UV radiation, UV-A and UV-B. UV-A has a longer wavelength and penetrates deeper into the skin because the rays are not absorbed by the ozone. UV-B is what causes sunburn; it is partially blocked by the ozone.

How Sunscreens Work

Sunscreens only protect the skin from UV-B radiation, the kind that causes sunburn. Sunscreens are rated by Sun Protection Factors, or SPF. The higher the number, the greater the protection. Here are the SPF ratings and tips on how to choose the one that's right for you.

1. SPF 15 - blocks about 94% of UV-B rays. People with darker skin, who are already tan, or who do not burn easily can probably use products with this rating.

2. SPF 30 - blocks 97% of UV-B rays. This may work well for medium skin tones and those who can take more sun than a person with fair skin.

3. SPF 45 - blocks about 98% of rays. This is the highest rating on sunscreen products and should be used by those who have fair skin or burn easily.

4. “Broad spectrum” - only products that include this wording on a label means it protects against both UV-A and B rays.

5. Water-resistant sunscreens - always look for sunscreens that are water resistant, and reapply often. All sunscreens will wash off eventually, leaving the skin unprotected.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.