Skin cancer affects millions of people every year, and sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from UVA and UVB light that may cause skin cancer. Here are some tips for using sunscreen to provide the utmost protection to your skin.
The sun protection factor, or SPF, is an indicator of how well the sunscreen protects you percentage wise from UVB light, but not UVA light. UVB rays are linked to the highest incidence of skin cancer and sunburns, and UVA rays also cause damage to the skin cells. Using a sunscreen with a higher SPF may not provide the protection that you need from the damaging effects of UVA rays. Using a sunscreen with a SPF 30 may block 97% of UVB but not UVA rays, or an SPF 50 that may may block 98%. Broad-spectrum sunscreens are the best options as they provide protection from UVA and UVB rays. You should also look for a sunscreen that is water-resistant. Even if you are not planning to spend time in the water, these sunscreens tend to be more resistant to the effects of perspiration.
Makeup is Not Sunscreen
Some cosmetics are labeled as providing SPF protection. Studies have shown that in order to achieve the SPF level noted on the labels, you would need to use more than five times the amount of foundation and more than 15 times the amount of powder that you would normally use. Tinted sunscreens, such as those available through Obagi®, are excellent options.
OBAGI Sun Protection Products
OBAGI offers a wide selection of skin care products as well a as a sun care line. Daily sun protection for the skin is very important and OBAGI makes sure that their products work for all skin types. Their broad-spectrum sunscreens not only provide protection but prevents signs of skin aging.
For those who are looking to add light coverage as their base makeup, OBAGI also provides Sun Shield TINT Broad Spectrum SPF 50.
How You Apply Sunscreen Matters
Most of us are used to applying lotions and other products to our skin without much consideration for how we are using these products. Sunscreen is unique in that it needs to be applied in a certain way to maximize the protective benefits to your skin.
- Apply the sunscreen before you go outdoors and allow it to penetrate your skin for at least 15 minutes
- Adults should use enough sunscreen to fill the palm of the hand
- Massage the sunscreen into your skin
- Cover all areas that are exposed to sunlight, including the back of your neck, ears and scalp
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours that your are outdoors
- If you sweat or swim, reapply sunscreen immediately. Try Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Water resistant (40 minutes).
Get to Know Your Skin
Using sunscreen can minimize your risk for skin cancer, but you should also develop a habit of checking your skin each day for changes. If you find any unusual growths or changes in color or texture, schedule an appointment with your physician or dermatologist. The earlier that skin cancer is diagnosed, the better the outcomes of treatment.