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Sun Safety

SunsetProtecting Your Skin to Stay Healthy

We’ve all heard that the suns rays are harmful. Excess of exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause painful sunburn, premature wrinkles, allergic skin reactions, and skin cancer. These rays can cause skin damage to make your body more vulnerable to infection and disease.

Protecting your skin is an important part of staying healthy, but what is the best way to go about it? The information below sheds some light of how to be sun safe.

Sun Screens and SPFs

Sun screens play a big role in reducing the sun's harmful effects. To help consumers decide which sunscreen is best, these products are classified according to the sun protection factor, (SPF). The SPF rating reflects a products ability to screen or block sun rays and prevent sunburn relative to unprotected skin. For example, if a sun screen rated SPF 8 is used by a fair skinned person whose skin normally turns red after 10 minutes in the sun , it would take the person 8 times longer to burn (or an hour and 20 minutes).

SunburnSunscreen should be used every time you are in the sun  more than 20 minutes, but not just the warm and sunny days. Sunlight reflects powerfully off surfaces such as snow , water, and light colored sand. Even when the sky is over cast,  80% of the sun's rays pass through the clouds.

Here are some tips for using sunscreens properly:

1. Apply sun's cream to dry skin 15 to 20 minutes before going outdoors.

2. Pay particular attention to the face, hands, arms, and feet.

3. Coat the skin liberally and thoroughly. Missing a spot can lead to patchy  sunburn areas.

4. Replace sunscreen every two hours, after swimming, or after perspiring heavily, even if the sun's screen is waterproof. (most water proof products lose their effectiveness after 80 minutes in the water, and they also can be wiped off with your towel.)

5. Be sure to check the sunscreen’s expiration date regularly. The typical shelf life is 3 years. However, exposure to extreme temperatures can shorten the life of the product.

6. Don't forget your lips. Always wear a lip balm that contains a sun screen, preferably one with an SPF of 15 or higher.

What To Wear

SunsetvictorySunscreens should not the your only protection. Clothing counts too. In the sun, wear loose fitting, long sleeve shirts, and long pants made from tightly woven fabric whenever possible. Certain materials, such as an unbleached cotton and silk, are good choices because they absorb or reflect sun light effectively. Darker colors may protect better then lighter colors . In addition, keep in mind that wetterr is not better. Most clothing loses 1/3 of the SPF value when it's wet.

In recent years, clothing with greater UV protection and has been developed to protect people with especially sensitive skin or have had skin cancer. This high tech apparel is made with compounds that can absorb light and provide SPF rating of 30 or higher.

To keep your head and face safe in the sun, leave your hat on. For best results, choose one with a wide rim that shields your face, ears, and the back of your neck.

Finally, remember to keep sun glasses handy when you step outside. They reduce the risk of cataracts and shield the skin around her eyes. The most effective shades block 99% or 100% of all UV light. Wrap around sun glasses are ideal because they prevent the rays from entering your eyes from the side.

Other sun's safety tips include avoiding exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest. Whenever possible, scheduled outdoor activities before or after this peak time. Remember that any unprotected time in the sun can add up to long term sun damage. Before you walk the dog, work in the back yard, or have a sunny day picnic lunch, have time to protect your skin.

Practice the shadow rule:
Head for the shade when your shadow
is shorter than you are tall.