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Sunscreens

SUNBURN PREVENTION SUNSCREEN DO’S AND DONT’S: DO SLATHER ON ENOUGH. People typically use about 25 to 75 percent less sunscreen than they should, according to studies. Be sure to apply 2 to 3 tablespoons of sunscreen for maximum full-body protection of an adult. DON’T USE EXPIRED SUNSCREEN. Old sunscreen should be discarded. DON”T MISS THESE SPOTS. Lips, ears, feet, hands, bald spots, and the back of your neck are all areas that are easy to forget. DO REAPPLY REGULARLY. The maximum protection time of a sunscreen is based on the number of minutes it takes for you to burn multiplied by the SPF number. So say you have fair skin and burn within 20 minutes and you’re using enough of an SPF 15 sunscreen. That will give you about five hours of protection – if the product does what it says (that is why we look at consumer reports). Nevertheless, reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you’re swimming or doing lots of sweating on the beach or the tennis court, you may want to reapply it more often than that. Also, keep in mind that reapplying sunscreen after you’ve exceeded your maximum protection time doesn’t mean that you can safely stay in the sun longer. Instead, be sure to cover up or get out of the sun! Products to consider: We tend to get more calls this time of year for rashes after being in the sun with sunscreen. As many products have increased their SPF, they have added more chemicals to create the higher SPF. This has meant more rashes for children. Higher is not better since some products may increase the chance of a rash with a higher SPF.  In addition, in real life, products with very high SPFs often create a false sense of security. People who use them tend to stay out in the sun much longer. They may skip reapplying. And they may think they don’t need to seek shade, wear a hat or cover up with clothing. They end up getting a lot more UV damage, which, of course, defeats the purpose.   The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. Regardless of the SPF, though, it’s important to apply the right amount 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.  We have selected high performing products from Consumer Reports that give the best protection for UVA and UVB while trying to not go too high on the SPF.

The following are products we recommend for 2019:

Of course you know you should wear sunscreen, but even if you think you’re good about it, it’s all too easy to make a common sunscreen mistake [7] that ups your risk for sunburn, sun damage, and even skin cancer. Short of hiding indoors all summer, what’s an active, outdoor lover to do?  Sun protection clothing—specially treated garments designed to filter ultraviolet rays—may be the answer. While technically all clothing can be considered sun-protective if it covers up the skin, sun protection clothing carries a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating that’s designed to provide more protection.  Just like SPF in sunscreen [8], the numbers range for UPF in clothing, in this case from 15 to 50-plus. Some of the UV-protective clothing has a rating based on such factors as fiber density and structure, like thread count per inch, while other items are pre-treated with a UV-inhibiting ingredient.  While sun protective clothing doesn’t mean you never have to wear SPF again, it does go a long way towards protecting your skin. “Protective clothing and broad-rimmed hats are one of the most important steps when it comes to safe sun practices in my opinion,” says Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified dermatologist in New York City and clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine. “Heavy perspiration, water activities, and incomplete application of sunscreen causes sunscreen products rubbing off and losing their effectiveness, resulting in incomplete sun protection.”   For babies under 6 months, we recommend SPF clothing as described above, a brim hat and avoidance during the peak high UV rays (10 am to 3 pm). If you must use a sunscreen, for this age, limit to the areas you cannot cover.