Glam Slam: Suncare Skin Savers
First Published: May 24, 2012 12:52 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The holiday weekend is almost here and many of us will be heading out for some fun in the sun. May is also Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention designated tomorrow as “Don’t Fry Day,” so it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on proper sun care.
According to www.skincancer.org, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, which is a pretty scary statistic considering it is a disease that can be avoided if proper precautions are taken.
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen every day, but many of us don’t apply it properly or we don’t use enough. Dr. Robin Schaffran, a board certified Dermatologist and creator of the Dr. Robin for Kids skincare line, shares her handy application chart and some of her favorite tips on the proper way to apply and use sunscreen for optimum protection.
- When applying sunscreen, think of your body in different zones: Head (face, ears, neck + lips), Shoulders, Arms, Chest, Stomach, Upper legs and Lower legs (see chart). I recommend using two fingers worth of sunscreen per zone for adults and about half for kids. Always make sure all exposed areas are protected.
- I recommend using a “physical” or chemical-free sunscreen with ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide/Zinc Oxide. This is a better option for children or adults with sensitive skin because the key ingredients Titanium Dioxide/Zinc Oxide sit on top of the skin, forming a barrier against the sun’s rays, unlike chemical sunscreens which will absorb into the skin and may cause irritation or allergic reaction.
- Many people think that the higher the SPF the better, but products higher than SPF 30 do not really provide significantly greater UV protection and only increase the skin’s exposure to more potentially irritating chemicals. For example, an SPF of 30 blocks about 98 percent of the sun’s UVB rays and an SPF of 50 blocks 99 percent, only 1 percent more. I suggest using a broad spectrum SPF 30 like the one I created, Dr. Robin For Kids, which is also all natural and chemical free and works great on babies, children or adults with sensitive skin.
- For chemical-based sunscreens you should put the sunscreen on 20-30 minutes before exposure but this is not necessary for mineral-based chemical-free sunscreens that don’t need to be absorbed by the skin to be effective.
- Make sure to re-apply every 2 hours - this is vital to staying protected, especially for babies and kids. The majority of lifetime damage to the skin happens before the age of 18, and even one bad sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer later in life. So incorporating regular sunscreen application in to your family’s daily routine is an important prevention measure. It’s also crucial to repeat application after swimming or sweating.
- For daily make-up application I recommend applying a sunscreen before make-up and then use a foundation with a SPF. That way, when you need to re-apply during the day, it’s easy to do touch-ups that will keep you protected. After all, the best anti-aging cream is sunscreen.
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