When to Wear Sunscreen: Get the Facts for Summer

Shopify API May 13, 2022 No Comments
Sunscreen is an important tool for protecting your skin. Learn when to wear sunscreen, types of UV blockage, and other ways to care for your skin this summer.
when to wear sunscreen

May 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.

when to wear sunscreen

The warmer months are always a time of activity, including long hours spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine. But after a long winter indoors, many people may forget that too much time unprotected in the sun can be dangerous for your skin.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer throughout their lifetime, a staggering statistic for the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States. Thankfully, 99% of skin cancer patients recover fully if the skin cancer stays localized and gets caught early. However, if skin cancer reaches the lymph nodes, the survival rate falls to 68%.
The worst part about most skin cancer cases is that most cases are preventable. Protecting your skin, especially in the first 18 years of your life, reduces your chances of developing skin cancer by almost 78%.
Keep reading to get the essential skincare facts for summer, including when to wear sunscreen, what sunscreen you should buy, and other ways to protect your skin as the days begin to warm up.

When to Wear Sunscreen

The sun is stronger in the summertime, hitting the Earth at a steep angle which means that its rays are concentrated in any given spot. As a result, the sun's rays are most powerful between 10 am and 4 pm.
Most dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen all year round to protect the skin from premature aging, wrinkling, and skin cancer.
The UV index is a valuable tool for determining when to wear sunscreen. When the UV index is low (3-4), people with fair skin can spend up to 30 minutes in the sun without burning. People with darker skin can stay out for about 75 to 90 minutes. With a moderate UV index (5-6), fair-skinned people can only be out for 20 minutes without protection. A high UV index (7-9), people with fair skin can only be outside for 7 to 8 minutes without burning.
For any level over 4, apply sunscreen any time you're out in the sun. Avoid standing outside in the middle of the day and wear protective clothing.
You should always wear sunscreen to protect your skin, no matter your skin color. Babies under six months of age are the exception since they have extremely sensitive skin. They should be protected using tarps and clothing until their skin becomes less sensitive.

SPF: Sun Protection Factor

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Picking the right sunscreen can be tough, especially since the market is flooded with varieties these days. Buy whatever type appeals to you but remember that your skin absorbs everything you put onto it. In addition, low-quality sunscreen has been known to cause breakouts and rashes.
You should also consider buying a sunscreen that's good for the planet. Certain chemicals, like oxybenzone and octinoxate, contaminate the environment. These sunscreens cause coral death, bleaching, and reproductive and congenital disabilities throughout the underwater ecosystem.
Sunscreen uses SPF to denote the strength of protection. SPF, or sun protection factor, represents the amount of time it will take your skin to redden if you use the sunscreen as directed compared with the amount of time without sunscreen. So, for SPF 30, it would take 30 times longer for your skin to burn.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends any sunscreen with an SPF above 15. Recommendations for when to wear sunscreen also rely on your lifestyle. For example, if you're in and out of doors all day, SPF 15 should protect you from skin damage. But if you're spending long hours outdoors, you may want to consider SPF 30 or higher. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours, and anytime you swim or sweat.

Types of Sunscreen

There are two types of sunscreen protection on the market. The active ingredients in sunscreen prevent the sun’s UV radiation from reaching your skin.
Physical mineral sunscreens block rays before they hit your skin using minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays to prevent skin damage using ingredients like avobenzone and octisalate.
Physical sunscreens tend to work better for sensitive skin, but both types of sunscreens are considered safe for everyday use. In addition, many of the sunscreens on today's market contain both mineral and chemical protection.
Many sunscreens today also cover a broad spectrum, which protects from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

What Happens if You DON’T Wear Sunscreen?

Everyone knows the horrible uncomfortable results of spending too much time outside without sunscreen. A first-degree sunburn turns you slightly pink. But a second-degree burn turns your skin bright red and sensitive. Your skin aches when you touch it and may blister and peel. You may also feel the effects of sun poisoning, including shivers, hot flashes, and sun sickness.
About 90% of the signs of aging on your skin are due to too much sun exposure. Damaged skin is more prone to wrinkles, sunspots, rough spots, and bruising. Sunburns are also dangerous since your chances of developing melanoma (the most common type of skin cancer) double after five or more sunburns.
After a few years of unprotected sun exposure, you develop a rough, scaly patch of skin called actinic keratosis. This common form of precancer affects 58 million Americans.
Continued sun exposure could lead to cancer. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are the three major types of skin cancer. Some people are more prone to developing skin cancer, including family history and people with light skin.

Other Sun Protection Practices

The best way to remember to apply sunscreen is to find a daily lotion containing SPF 15. That way, you put it on every single day- rain or shine -and your skin always has some form of protection.
While you should know when to wear sunscreen to protect your skin this summer, sunscreen isn't the only way to prevent skin damage. Avoid long hours of unprotected sun exposure using the natural shade under trees or bringing an umbrella or canopy. Long sleeves and hats are also helpful sun protectants. Since the effects of sun exposure are cumulative, learn the facts early on to protect your skin now and avoid the harmful consequences of your time in the sun in the future.

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Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.


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