What You Need To Know About Sun Protection

The weather has suddenly become warmer.  With more layers of clothing being shed after this long winter we have had, more of your skin is inevitably being exposed to the environment.

Weather scientists (i.e. meteorologists) have documented a diminishing of the ozone layer and greater warming of the planet.  These findings mean that now more than ever, all of us need to be more aware of the sun and its increasing dangers.

Unfortunately, the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that only 25-50% of people use the recommended amounts of sunscreen on a regular basis.  Surveys show that there is much misinformation out there about sunscreen that inhibits the greater use of this important protection mechanism.

May happens to be Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  Because of this fact, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit some common questions and dispel common myths.

First and foremost, sunscreen does not cause harmful side effects or cancer.  In the USA, sunscreens are regulated by the FDA as drugs, and undergo rigorous testing for safety and efficacy before being approved.

Multiple studies have proven that none of the compounds in sunscreen can cause cancer in humans.  The major fact to consider with this evidence is that the risk of getting skin cancer from sun exposure, including deadly melanoma, far outweighs the infinitesimal risk from the use of sunscreen.

Second, sunscreen is important for every skin type and skin tone.  Some people claim that because they have a darker skin tone and because they tan easily, they do not have to use sunscreen.

Even the darkest skin tones of people from, or who have ancestry tracing back to, places like Africa or India are only equivalent to an SPF of 6.  Those who never have sunburns will actually receive sun damage over the years that increases their risk of contracting premature skin aging and skin cancer.

Please, by all mean, enjoy the outdoors.  However, also remember the following points as you go outside in the coming months:

  1. No one should ever skip wearing sunscreen.  Apply it to all exposed areas of the body even on cloudy days.  Minimum use should be one ounce of sunscreen per application.
  2. If you are active outdoors during the day, reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours at a minimum.
  3. Wear more sun protective clothing such as wide brim hats, and some of the new varieties of SPF clothing.
  4. If you feel the need for vitamin D, take a supplement.  It is much safer than exposing yourself to the sun for the equivalent vitamin D production by your skin.
  5. Never ever use tanning beds!  Feel free to read one of my earlier blog posts for more information on why you should avoid tanning beds.

If you are in search of a great sunscreen that will not block your pores but will still be strong enough to protect you, check out our selection of sunscreens that we have for sale at Maine Laser Skin Care.  Each of these sunscreens has been chosen for its safety and effectiveness.

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