What does SPF mean?
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) refers to the amount of UVB radiation blocked, and the length of time before you burn. SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB and prevents burning about 30 times longer than your skin’s own natural sun protection.
Don’t skimp — slather!
The biggest sunscreen mistake? Not using enough. Use 1 ounce of sunscreen — roughly the volume of a shot glass or golf ball — for each application.
Avoid peak hours
The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so limit your sun exposure during those hours.
UVA and UVB: Block them both
UVB rays cause sunburn; UVA rays, premature skin aging — and both increase melanoma risk. Protect yourself from both by choosing a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Physical or chemical?
Physical sunscreens reflect and absorb the sun’s rays, while chemical sunscreens absorb them at the skin’s surface. Whichever type you choose, make sure it’s broad spectrum, minimum 30 SPF.
Apply early and often
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going out, and reapply every 2 hours, as well as after sweating, swimming or toweling dry.
Go head first
Make sure not to miss your head, ears, face and nose when applying sunscreen — and double up on protection with a wide-brimmed hat.
Sunburn isn’t the only risk of sun exposure — drink plenty of water to avoid heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Get out of bed
Tanning beds emit large doses of harmful UV radiation. To get the color you want without tanning, try a gradual tan-building lotion.
Made in the shade
Indirect UVA rays can still damage skin. Play it safe by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing even when you’re staying in the shade.
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