As the weather begins to heat up, and we start spending time outdoors – remembering to maintain appropriate social distancing – it is essential that we apply sunscreen to protect us from the harmful effects of the sun. However, there are so many different brands offering all kinds of promises that knowing which one to choose can be a challenge. Your local pharmacy can always provide advice on the best products to suit your needs, but here are a few tips to help you make the right decision for you and your family.
1 – Choose Broad Spectrum Protection
Why choosing your sunscreen ask your local pharmacy to recommend one with broad spectrum protection. If you see this on the label, then you will know that it can protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products should protect against UVB, which are the rays that cause sunburn and skin cancers, but UVA rays can cause premature aging and other skin cancers, so you really want protection against both types.
2 – Opt for SPF 30 or Above
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding what SPF, or sun protection factor, you actually need. According to the American Cancer Society, SPF 30 is the minimum you should choose. SPF is an indication of how much protection the sunscreen offers against UVB rays. If you choose SPF 30, it should filter out around 97% of UVB rays. SPF 100 filters out approximately 99% of UVB rays, but no sunscreen will block it completely. The FDA requires that any sunscreen with lower than SPF15 carries a warning that it only protects against sunburn – not skin cancers. Ask your local pharmacy if you need more guidance about SPF.
3 – Water-Resistant or Waterproof?
It is essential to understand that water-resistant is not the same as waterproof. There are no sunscreens on the market that are waterproof or even sweatproof. Manufacturers are not permitted to make such claims about their products. However, some may claim to be water-resistant for 40 to 80 minutes while swimming. It is best practice to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and immediately after swimming.
4 – Other Ways to Stay Sun Safe
In addition to choosing the right sunscreen from your local pharmacy, you can also take additional steps to stay safe in the sun. Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat and clothing that covers your skin. You should also wear appropriate sunglasses that block out 99% of UV light. It is also wise to limit your exposure to direct sunlight by seeking shade between the peak hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Finally, you should avoid sunlamps and tanning beds, as these are known to cause long-term skin damage and some types of cancer.
Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966
Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!