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5 Ways to Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage

5 Ways to Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage

Is expired sunscreen OK to use

Is expired sunscreen OK to use or should you get a new bottle? Find out and learn more about expired sunscreen at HowStuffWorks

Cover Up

About one million Americans were diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in 2005. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the disease makes up one in three cancers diagnosed in this country. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

One of the best things you can do is cover up. The sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Stay indoors during this time, or if you must be outdoors, cover up and wear sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that hats and clothing made of dark, tightly woven materials absorb ultraviolet light better than cotton fabrics in lighter shades. Dry fabrics offer more protection than wet ones

Spread on Sunscreen

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Be sure to spread it on thick enough: Applying only a thin coating of a sunscreen can reduce the effectiveness of the product by as much as 50 percent. Waterproof sunscreen is best if you'll be swimming

Apply Early and Often



Apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before exposure to allow the skin to absorb it. And reapply it every two hours -- more often if you're sweating or getting wet. If you have fair skin, you might even want to begin preparing for sun exposure the night before by putting on a layer of sunscreen before bed; this will allow it to be thoroughly absorbed into the skin's outer layer. Then apply the usual coat of sunscreen the next day, about a half hour before you go outside.

The sun can also burn the sensitive skin on the lips just as easily as it fires the rest of your body. At worst, the damage can lead to skin cancer. Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply often

Protect Your Ears

Too often, people forget to protect sensitive spots like the tops of the ears, the hairline, the "V" of the chest, the nose and the hands. The Skin Cancer Foundation says 80 percent of skin cancers occur on the head, neck and hands. The Foundation therefore recommends that you wear a hat made of a tightly woven fabric such as canvas rather than one of straw and that you wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 on your hands and other exposed areas.

Mind the Nose and Feet

Protruding horizontal surfaces like the nose present special sun protection problems. Lifeguards often wear zinc oxide paste on their nose, but it only provides an SPF of about seven. Instead, apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, let it soak in a few minutes, and then, for maximum protection, apply the zinc oxide paste. And if you'll be going shoeless, you'd be wise to use the same level of protection on the tops of your feet.





May 25, 2016 12:56
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