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    Skin Protection All Year Round



    Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than all other cancers combined.


    The good news is that using sun protection every day, even when it's cloudy or cold outside, can help reduce your risk of developing this widespread disease. Here's what you need to know to keep your skin protected.


    1. Everyone needs sunscreen. Everyone should wear sunscreen every day, even if you spend most of your time indoors. The only exceptions to this rule are babies under six months, who should be kept out of direct sunlight.


    Since everyone should wear sunscreen, many wish there was an one size fits all version we could choose. The truth is that there are many elements that go into what SPF, or sun protection factor, is right for you and your family. 



    2. You may be using sunscreen already. Many aftershave balms and lotions, moisturizers, foundations, and powders contain sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. A broad-spectrum sunscreen (meaning it protects your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 15 is adequate for most people who are exposed to the sun occasionally throughout the day.


    If your current moisturizer or primer doesn’t contain SPF, switch it for one of the many products available at Rite Aid. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 30 is an oil-free, non-comedogenic product created to enhance natural radiance and hydrate your skin. It also features an oxybenzone-free broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, offering protection from sun damage and preventing premature aging. 

    For a product that glides on effortlessly, try Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. Wear it on its own or as a base for your foundation; the lightweight formula smooths imperfections and brightens your skin tone while providing SPF 30 skin protection.


    3. You may need a higher SPF. If you have fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, a medical condition that makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, or if you work or spend most of your day outside, you should consider using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. 


    SPF 30 is the most commonly used strength, allowing only 3% of the UVB rays to hit your skin. In comparison, SPF 50 allows 2% of those rays though. While it may seem like only slightly better protection, SPF50 actually gives 50% more protection than SPF30. 


    SPF100 is the highest strength available and provides only 1% of UVB rays through. It is important to note that no sunscreen can provide 100% protection.


    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch - SPF 70 Sunscreen  is formulated with Helioplex Technology which offers superior broad spectrum protection from aging UVA rays and burning UVB rays. And unlike many other high-SPF products, the lightweight, non-greasy formula won’t leave a white cast on your skin.


    4. Once is not enough. You need to reapply sunscreen about every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or doing an activity or sport where you perspire heavily.


    Coppertone Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray is America’s Most Trusted Sunscreen Brand, providing broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection with a water-resistant formula that stays on your skin for up to 80 minutes when swimming or sweating, It should be reapplied at least every 2 hours, after 80 minutes of sweating or swimming, and immediately after towel drying. It comes with a continuous spray applicator that lets you reapply your sunscreen easily.


    5. You may need to go water-resistant. Water-resistant sunscreens are stickier and bond to your skin better than other sunscreens, which helps prevent them from dripping into your eyes, making them ideal for sports, swimming, and other activities that make you sweat.


    Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50, is designed for active families and sports enthusiasts who love spending time outdoors. The rich formula is water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes and is non-greasy, so it won’t weigh you down. 

    Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is another product that offers long-lasting protection. The reef friendly sunscreen has a non-nano mineral formula, making it great for when you hit the beach or lake. You'll enjoy the benefit of zinc oxide's broad spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays without the white cast from application.


    6. You need more than you think. You need to apply at least an ounce of sunscreen (or a golf ball-sized amount) to your body about 30 minutes before sun exposure.


    7. You need to use sun protection everywhere your skin is exposed. Don't skimp on your lips, the tips of your ears, hands, backs of your legs, tops of your feet, or your scalp.


    Protect your lips any time of year with Sun Bum Sunscreen Lip Balm Coconut. It is created with aloe vera and vitamin E to keep your lips kissably smooth while providing SPF 30 sun protection. 


    If the sun and wind have left your lips chapped, nourish and repair your smile with Aquaphor Lip Protectant, SPF 30. It contains vitamins and shea butter for long-lasting relief for sore, red lips. 

    Like your skin, your scalp and hair need protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Sun Bum Revitalizing Shampoo and Sun Bum Revitalizing Conditioner have a gentle formula, free from parabens, silicones, and DMDM-H, featuring natural protective ingredients like coconut oil, banana, quinoa protein, and sunflower seed oil. When used together as part of a regular hair care routine, they protect against UV light and repair damage to your strands.


    8. It doesn't last forever. Sunscreen loses its potency over time, so bottles should be replaced after a year or two. Some sunscreens come with an expiration date after which the sunscreen is no longer effective; before using last year's sunscreen, be sure to check the expiration date.


    9. Sunscreen alone is not enough. While sunscreen should be an integral part of your sun protection regimen, it can't block all rays all the time. Even on overcast days, the sun can penetrate through the clouds, damaging exposed skin.


    Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can give you added protection. Though it may seem counterintuitive, it's also a good idea to wear more clothes when you're exposed to direct sunlight. Try to cover as much of your skin as is comfortable with garments made from tightly woven material or sun protective fabric.


    By Joelle Klein




    Skin Cancer Foundation, Skin Cancer Facts and Statistics


    Skin Cancer Foundation, Sunscreens Explained


    US Food & Drug Administration, Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun


    WebMD, What's the Best Sunscreen?


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fast Facts: Protecting Yourself From Sun Exposure


    Sun & Skin News, Ask the Expert: Does a High SPF Protect My Skin Better?

    These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regimen.