The long and hazy days of summer are approaching quickly, meaning that you will be out in the sun much more than the winter months have allowed. People heading to the beach during the summer months need to take precautions, in order to ensure that they are not among the 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually. More than ninety percent of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the following beach skin care safety tips:
If you want to prevent sunburn, wear plenty of sunscreen.
If you are planning a day at the beach, you will want to choose a water-resistant sunscreen with a SPF rating of 30 or more in order to prevent sunburn. Following the suggested FDA guidelines, any water-resistant product must maintain its SPF after more than thirty minutes of water immersion. To ensure you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, apply one ounce of sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure. Applying sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure will allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin, and provide you a better chance to prevent sunburn. Remember that you will want to put the sunscreen on before you put on your bathing suit.
As a special note, also bring along extra sunscreen to the beach because you will want to reapply your protective SPF layer every two hours. If you plan a half day at the beach, you will want to put on your SPF 30 at least two times to prevent sunburn.
If you want to prevent sunburn, do not be afraid to cover up!
Protect your head, face and eyes with a broad-brimmed hat (at least 3″ all the way around) and sunglasses that filter out 99 to 100 percent of UV radiation. Cover up with long sleeves and pants when you are not swimming. For women, brightly colored, long sarongs are another good option. Or opt for specially made sun protective clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 30 or higher. A solid plan to cover up will allow you to prevent sunburn.