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Stay Sun-Safe This Spring

Contributed by Cathy Fricke, Skin Care SpecialistGirl with Suncreen

The warm weather is here and you’re spending time outdoors after that rough winter. Spring temperatures may not be as intense as the summer heat, but you still have to protect yourself against the sun’s damaging rays.

Even in the spring, the sun’s rays can be harmful. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is stronger during spring and summer months because the sun is higher in the sky, making the rays more intense and more harmful to your skin. The rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. but can still burn your skin in the early morning and late evening hours. So what is the best way to protect your skin and still enjoy the warm temperatures and sunshine? Sunscreen and plenty of it!

Your best defense against the sun is sunscreen, protective clothing, a wide brimmed hat and sun glasses. I recommend you use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and re-apply at least every 2 hours regardless of what you’re doing outside.

Remember to read the label on the sunscreen bottle and pay attention to your face, ears, neck, arms and other areas not covered by clothing or any area that you know burns easily. If you’re going to wear insect repellent or makeup, put the sunscreen on first. And apply sunscreen to your dry skin at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.

Choosing the Right Sunscreen

Try these tips to find a sunscreen that will protect your skin from the damaging sun.

  • Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher.
  • Choose a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection. Sunscreen products can only be labeled broad spectrum if they have been tested and shown to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Check the expiration date to make sure the sunscreen is not expired. Sunscreens exposed to heat for long periods may be less effective.
  • Adults with sensitive skin or skin conditions like rosacea may also benefit from using a sunscreen made for children. If you have a skin irritation or allergies, avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances or preservatives.
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