Sun Protection Tips
STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN
1. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF)of at least 15-30 on all exposed skin, including the lips, even on cloudy days
2. Use a water resistant sunscreen when swimming or with excessive sweating
3. Reapply sunscreen frequently
4. Wear protective, tightly woven clothing (see below)
5. Wear a broad brimmed hat and sun glasses
6. Plan outdoor activities early or late in the day to avoid peak sunlight hours between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
7. Stay in the shade when possible
8. Protect your children
9. Avoid tanning beds
When in the sun, CLOTHES ARE THE BEST PROTECTION. Sunscreen should only be used as a supplement to a broad hat (3–4 inch brim) and a shirt. Most fabrics that cannot be seen through will give reasonable protection, but the new micro fiber nylons are very sun protective. Many companies offer a variety of sun protective clothing and accessories.
SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
- Sun Precautions
- Radicool Australia
- Divers Direct
- Sun Proof
- Dermatone for protective lip cream that is chemical-free
SUNSCREENS ALSO OFFER EXCELLENT PROTECTION
Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, because most people use only a third to half the amount of sunscreen needed to get the rated SPF factor. When applying sunscreen you need more than you think: Use ½ teaspoon on each of the following body areas
1) Head and Neck
2) right arm
3) left arm.
Use more than a teaspoon on each of these body areas
1) chest and abdomen
2) right leg
3) left leg
Use only sunscreens that are broad spectrum. These will block both UVB and UVA sun rays. The SPF rating is based on the UVB (causes sunburn and skin cancer) blocking ability. To be broad spectrum, a sunscreen must contain a good UVA (causes wrinkling, mottling and skin cancer) block such as AVOBENZONE (Parasol 1789) which is clear or ZINC OXIDE or TITANIUM DIOXIDE, which are slightly whitening. Some excellent choices of broad spectrum sunscreens are Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, Coppertone Sport, Ombrelle 30, Vanicream, and Neutrogena 30 for Sensitive Skin. There are other sunscreens that are also great choices. Just remember to get a broad spectrum sunscreen and to apply the proper amount.
Have fun this summer. Be safe by following the above sun protection tips.
SUN SAFETY TIPS FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY
MORE INFORMATION ON SUNSCREENS
The Naked Truth about Sunscreen
The recommended amount of sunscreen to apply to each body site to get the SPF factor on the label:
Use more than half a teaspoon on each:
- Head and Neck
- Right arm
- Left arm
Use more than a teaspoon on each:
- Chest and Stomach
- Right Leg
- Left leg
Long Sleeve Clothes for High Energy Activities with Heavy Sweating
Waffle knit polyesters are lightweight, soft, extremely breathable and wick moisture off the skin to provide a comfortable feel even on a hot day. They are not as durable as the supplex clothes mentioned above, but move more moisture off the skin. Performancebike.com makes a Cool Max Alta long sleeve jersey UPF 40 for $35. Polartec PowerDry UPF 15-20 is used in North Face’s El Cap Shirt (altrec.com 800-369-3949) for $45. Other similar items can be found at sports and outdoor stores. Thin Cool max over the calf sock liners protect the lower leg when wearing shorts with almost no warming effect. They are available from allsportsocks.com (303-564-9153) for $10.
Sun Protective Swimwear
Sunscreens even under ideal application guidelines still permit tanning and sun damage. Wearing a Lycra shirt provides significant sun protection and is not heavy and limiting as wearing a cotton T-shirt in the water. The garments are called rash guards or flash suits and can be purchased at dive or surf shops.
Blistex Clear Advance SPF 30 with avobenzone is available at some Kaiser Permanente and Drugstore.com. Zinc oxide blocks SPF 30 with methoxycinnamate or SPF 15 pure physical block for chemical sunscreen sensitive are available from www.dermatome.com 1-800-225-7546.
Car Window Glass UV Filters
These are available for car side windows as clear plastic sheets commercially installed. Call Llumar at 888-288-7443 for referral to a local dealer. Sheeting can also be applied to home windows with the added benefit of preventing glass shattering during earthquakes.
The Naked Truth about Sunscreen
Although the sun is always damaging to the skin, the amount of damage can be limited by a few sensible precautions:
- minimize direct exposure to mid-day sun
- wear a broad hat and shirt
- use a broad-spectrum sunscreen
When outside in the mid-day (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) during the sunny season from March until October try to find shade.
When in the sun, CLOTHES ARE THE BEST PROTECTION. Sunscreen should only be used as a supplement to a broad hat (3–4 inch brim) and a shirt. Most fabrics that cannot be seen through will give reasonable protection, but the new microfiber nylons are very sun protective. SunPrecautions.com (1-800-882-7860) makes uncompromisingly protective products. The products pictured below from other companies are especially inexpensive and breathable.
Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, because most people use only a third to half the amount of sunscreen needed to get the rated SPF factor. Please refer to The Naked Truth about Sunscreen 1 for suggestions on sunscreen application.
The SPF rating is based on UVB (causes sunburn and skin cancer) blocking ability. To be broad spectrum, a sunscreen should contain a good UVA (causes wrinkling, mottling and skin cancer) block such as AVOBENZONE (Parasol 1789) which is clear or ZINC OXIDE or TITANIUM DIOXIDE, which are slightly whitening. Ombrelle 30 or Solbar Avo cream or 30 PF gel with 3% avobenzone, Solbar Zinc, Vanicream SPF35 or Trader Joe’s Sunscreen SPF 50 ($3.50 for 4 oz) with 8% zinc oxide and Neutrogena 30 Sensitive Skin (with 9% titanium dioxide) are some of the best products at about $8-10 for 4 oz.
For the average person any sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher properly applied when wearing a broad hat and at least a short sleeve shirt will give reasonable protection, except when out in the sun for long periods of time. Sun sensitive persons with fair skin should wear long sleeves and high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreens.
Sunscreens for Sensitive Skin
These sunscreens contain only titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as their active ingredients. Because these are not chemical sunscreens, they are less likely to cause allergic reactions than sunscreens with other active ingredients. Some may be harder to find than others. A good place to start is www.drugstore.com.
California Baby Water Resistant, Hypo-Allergenic Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Fallene Total Block Cotz Waterproof Sunblock, SPF 58
Neutrogena Sunblock Lotion, Sensitive Skin, SPF 30 and 45
Kiss My Face Non-Chemical Sunblock Lotion, SPF 18
Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 15 and 35
Ti-Baby Natural Sunblock SPF 16