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Save Your Skin: Sunscreen Tips

Ah, summer time. What a truly pleasurable season. No school, time off from work and overall fun times are had by all. Children and adults alike can finally enjoy the outdoors with festivals, barbecues and relaxing on the beach.

Unfortunately, all the fun comes to a sudden stop when you leave the beach with a horrible sunburn. Most people severely underestimate sunscreen. Not only does it prevent sunburns, but it can prevent wrinkles. Did you know that UV radiation is the most common cause of facial aging?

If we haven't already convinced you that sunscreen is important, consider this: 90 percent of skin cancer in the US is caused by excess exposure to the sun. We're sure to scare you with this next fact: One out of five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Now that we've convinced you to wear sunscreen, let's discuss some tips to ensure you are properly applying it.

SPF 50 or higher all provide the same protection

First off, never use anything less than SPF 50. It just doesn't provide enough protection. SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UV rays while SPF 100 blocks 99 percent. The one percent difference doesn't really matter. Using SPF 50 is enough protection.

Makeup with sunscreen isn't always enough

Unless you are wearing makeup that includes SPF, you don't have enough sun protection to last you the entire day. It's enough if you're only walking to the car, but anymore exposure to the sun requires a higher level of protection.

Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours

The active ingredients in sunscreen that protects your skin gradually gets broken down when exposed to the sun. Typically, sunscreen remains effective for up to two hours. If you wait any longer, you will no longer be protected. Be sure to read the label on your sunscreen because some brands may require you to reapply more often.

Use one ounce to cover your whole body

Researchers have found that many people aren't using enough sunscreen. This is usually because they aren't applying it on their whole bodies. Did you know the skin on your lips is affected by the sun? Instead of using sunscreen on your lips, apply a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher.

You shouldn't sun tan all day

Even if you use the proper amount and consistently reapply the sunscreen, you shouldn't lay out in the sun all day long. Sunscreen does not guarantee 100 percent protection. The only sure fire way to protect your skin is to apply sunscreen, wear protective clothing with a hat and sit in the shade.

Tanning oil does not count

Don't use tanning oil with an SPF less than 15. Even using SPF 15, you should only be in the sun for a limited amount of time. Because it is significantly less protection than sunscreen, you should try to lay in the sun for less than an hour at a time.

Apply before going in the sun

Many people make the mistake of waiting until they arrive at the beach to apply sunscreen. For it to work properly, sunscreen needs time to absorb in your skin. You should apply it at least a half hour before entering in the sun.

If you do not properly take care of your skin while in the sun, schedule a consultation with Dr. Franks. He can provide you with top-of-the-line skin care products and skin care treatments that can save your skin. For more information about Des Moines cosmetic surgery, contact 515.421.4299

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