Sunscreen 101

Summertime means plenty of fun in the sun. Pop on those shades and listen to your mother — wear sunscreen!

Sunscreen stands between the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight and your skin. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA and UVB. They can both damage skin, cause it to age prematurely and increase risk of skin cancer. UVB radiation typically causes sunburn, while UVA is associated with wrinkling and aging of the skin.

Sunscreens with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher protect your skin from UVB rays. SPF measures sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from causing skin damage. The higher the SPF, the more UVB is filtered out. For example, SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of incoming UVB rays, while SPF 50 filters 98 percent. However, no sunscreen can block all UV rays, and sunscreens are only effective for about two hours before reapplication.

Anyone six months or older should use sunscreen, especially if you anticipate being out in sunlight for long periods of time. Children under six months should be kept out of sun exposure, as their skin is sensitive to both sun and the chemicals in sunscreen.
So this summer, take the extra minute to apply and reapply sunscreen. Not only can you prevent skin cancer, but you’ll protect yourself from painful sunburn, sunspots and wrinkles.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from