It can be hard to remember to put sunscreen on before you head outside, but forgetting to do so once can lead to a nasty sunburn, and neglecting to do it every time you are headed out into the sun can lead to wrinkles, blemishes, and, of course, skin cancer. To make sure you are getting all the protection that sunscreen can offer, there are a few things you should know about this amazing product.
The sun emits two different kinds of ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVA and UVB. The UVB rays affect the outer layer, and the UVA rays get deeper into the skin. Sunscreen works by acting as a barrier to these rays or by scattering, reflecting, or absorbing them. Some kinds of sunscreen may even work by combining these. When buying sunscreen, you should get one that has an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30; the higher this number the more protection offered. An SPF of 30 is fine for most skin types, but if you have fair skin, you might want to use sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more. You should also get a sunscreen that says it is “broad spectrum,” which means that it protects skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
You should put sunscreen on about half an hour before you go outside so that the skin can absorb it. Apply it generously, and make sure to get it everywhere that will see the sun. Don’t forget your neck, ears, and even your eyelids! If you stay outside for a long time, don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen, especially if you are sweating a lot or are spending time in the pool.
Yes, applying sunscreen before you leave the house is just one more thing to do – but it doesn’t take long, and it is so important for healthy skin. If your skin is showing the effects of being out in the sun too much over the years, the staff at Mao Facial Plastic Surgery in Orange, Connecticut, can help, with a laser skin resurfacing treatment. Call (203) 907-0501 for an appointment today!