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Sun Protection Tips for Summer

After the long winters in Nebraska, most of us are more than ready to get some Vitamin D when summer hits.  Just remember that while you are out in the sun, wearing sunscreen can be your most important defense from harmful rays that can not only cause premature aging, but cancer.  Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime

KristenHammesHere is some information and tips to help make sure you and your family are protected this summer:

UVA and UVB rays are harmful in different ways.

These two types of rays are both from the sun and both are damaging.  UVA rays are known to age you.  These damaging rays are responsible for sun spots, wrinkles and leathery skin if overexposed.  UVB rays are known to burn you.  Exposure to these rays put you at a higher risk of sun burn and skin cancer.

Type of sunscreen does matter!

I always recommend that you need to have a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Broad-spectrum indicates that you will be protected from both UVA and UVB rays.  SPF indicates the theoretical time you can stay in the sun.  For example, an SPF of 30 indicates you can stay in the sun 30 minutes longer than without protection.

Apply (and re-apply) the correct way!

The best way to start using sunscreen is to incorporate it into your skin care routine in the morning.  A quarter size dollop of sunscreen is the correct amount to cover the face, neck, décolletage and hands.  This amount of sunscreen may be enough for daily use, but if you are going to be exposed to sun for an extended amount of time, make sure to reapply!

Combining products is OK…..sometimes.

There are many products that claim to do more than one thing.  Make sure if you are using a product that combines products with a sunscreen, for example a moisturizer, the sunscreen is not compromised. The sunscreen still needs to be a broad spectrum with a SPF of 30 or more.

Kristin Hammes