Experts shared with us the pertinent facts regarding the rays game and sun protection on hot days, especially in the summer.
Various studies prove that UV radiation is a carcinogen. One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence, or five sunburns at any age doubles the risk of melanoma. What is more, the effects are cumulative and 90% of visible sun aging (pigment changes, wrinkles, etc.) are caused by UV exposure.
Experts say that more than 20% of Americans will suffer from skin cancer during their lives. You should also consider this: the more active you are outdoors (particularly if you live in the sunbelt), the greater the risk.
What is SPF?
Sun Protection Factor measures the time it takes for your skin to redden, meaning the higher the number, the longer you’re protected.
The Skin Cancer Foundation explains that if your unprotected skin starts turning red after 20 minutes in the sun, applying an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer, this is about five hours.
Experts suggest that people with more sensitive skin should use products with SPFs no lower than 30 and no higher than 50.
What is UPF?
Ultraviolet Protection Factor means the amount of the sun’s harmful UV rays that passes through a fabric. A rating of 25 indicates that 1/25th or 4% of the UV rays pass through the clothing.
The Skin Cancer Foundation advises that a UPF rating of 30 to 49 offers “very good protection” and 50-plus is “excellent.”
What about the combination of sunshine and sweat?
Protection levels in clothing could drop by 50% when clothing made from natural fibers, such as linen and cotton, gets wet. However, more and more sun-protective clothing is available today.
With specialized products, you can also wash UPF into your regular clothing so that it offers your body better protection from the sun.
What does “broad spectrum” mean?
Cancer concerns are associated to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is caused by long-wave UVA and short-wave UVB rays. The UVB rays are those that cause sunburns, however if your sunscreen only filters those out, the UVA rays may still damage your skin without your knowing.
Sunscreens labeled with “broad spectrum” protect your skin against both rays.
Top tips to protect your face from the sun
1) Only expose to the high-sun before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
2) Wear sport sun-protective clothing, including sunglasses and hats.
3) Apply sunscreen before going out, and reapply every few hours if you’re sweating or swimming.