May Day, May Day! Top Sun Protection Tips for Summer

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Today marks the start of Skin Cancer Awareness Month. More than 2 million people per year are diagnosed with skin cancer making it the most common cancer in the US. We’re glad to report that it is also one of the most preventable of cancers. Most startling however, is the statistic that one person dies from melanoma approximately each hour.

Head this advice and practice safe, smart sun S.O. friends. With these tips we hope you won’t have to find yourself in a sunscreen crisis this season. We’d rather see you enjoy a relaxed start to summer.

S.O. Sun Safe Tips: 

  • Choose broad spectrum sunscreen to protect you from both UVB and UVA rays. Not all products are broad spectrum and remember that SPF number only measures UVB, not UVA.
  • Select a naturally based, physical, mineral sunscreen with actives Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Chemical sunscreen actives are linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage making them toxic and hazardous to health.
  • Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before outside activity and apply generously to all areas of exposed skin.
  • Do not look to makeup / cosmetic products for your core sun protection.
  • Wear sunscreen every day, every month of the year!
  • Stay out of the sun when it is at its peak, between 10a.m. – 4p.m. This holds true even on cloudy days.
  • If you must be in the sun, re-apply sunscreen every two hours or sooner if you have been swimming or sweating. Water resistant sunscreen must be re-applied as towel drying rubs product off the skin.
  • UVA rays are not blocked by windows or typical sunglasses.  Wear sunscreen when driving or indoors near windows. Remember to apply sunscreen to the back of your hands too. This is especially important for prevention of UV damage received while driving. Look for sunglasses that offer as close to 100% coverage from both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Have a wide brimmed hat with you at all times. It will help protect the face, ears and scalp from UV damage.
  • If attempting UV coverage with clothing, keep in mind cotton only gives the equivalent of approximately an SPF15. Look for clothing that specifically carries a UPF rating.
  • Apply sunscreen to the often missed areas of the body: eyes, lips, ears, behind knees, feet and scalp.
  • 50% percent of UV exposure occurs between the ages of 19 – 40 and children are at an increased risk due to thinner skin. Offer the entire family sun protection often to impart healthy skin/sun habits.
  • Get an annual skin check by a dermatologist to monitor skin changes and discuss concerns. Most dermatology offices provide free screenings. To find a free skin cancer screening, visit the AAD website.
  • Do not use tanning beds or sunbathe intentionally. Tanning not only poses a greater risk for skin cancer but also breaks down collagen and elastin causing premature aging.
  • Replenish your sunscreen stash so you’re never without UV protection and toss any expired product.

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