Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
How To Choose And Use A Sunscreen
Choose a Sunscreen that is –
- Broad Spectrum - protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays
- SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher
- SPF 15 filters out over 90% of the sun’s harmful UV-B rays
- SPF 30 - 96%
- SPF 45 - 98%.
- Waterproof if you will be sweating or swimming
- Made specifically for use on your face. This will help to avoid the sunscreen ‘running’ into your eyes and burning
- PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) free if you are sensitive to that chemical
- Water-based if you have acne or oily skin
Other tips –
- Not all sunscreens have the same ingredients – If your skin reacts badly to the one you are using, try one with different chemicals.
- Be aware of the expiration date. Over time sunscreen may lose its effectiveness.
- A more expensive brand is not necessarily more effective than a less expensive brand.
- Shake well before use. This will help to mix sunscreen that my have clumped up in the container.
- Use enough. Apply thickly and evenly.
A good rule of thumb – use about 1 oz. or a handful to cover your entire body.
- Apply to all parts of your skin that will be exposed to the sun. Don’t forget your ears, back, shoulders, the back of your knees and legs.
- Apply sunscreen:
- About 20 – 30 minutes before going out in the sun. This allows for your skin to absorb the sunscreen.
- Every 2 hours when outdoors
- After swimming or sweating
- Even if you are wearing hats and protective clothing
Remember – No sunscreen offers 100% protection.
Use sunscreen and practice sun safety for the best protection.