Summertime in centeral Virginia is a great season to get active outdoors, but be sure to take proper care of your skin when you're out in the sun. Researchers from the Skin Cancer Foundation, shows that the incidence of melanoma the deadliest form of skin cancer, increased 45% between 1992 and 2004. Therefore, it is as important now as ever to keep your skin protected from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
1. Choose It Right: It can be tricky to choose a sunscreen, especially because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set new regulations for sunscreen labeling. However, the basic rule to remember is that your sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and should protect against both Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
2. Use It Right: Did you know that most people put on just 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen, according to the American Academy of Dermatology? Apply a shot glass worth (1 oz.) of sunscreen every two hours when you're out in the sun and more often if you're sweating or swimming, regardless of label claims that it is "waterproof."
3. Cover Up: Wearing protective clothing can partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV ray exposure. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts and pants, hats, and sunglasses - for eye protection.
4. Seek Shade: Stay in the shade or out of the sun entirely during the most intense hours of the sun's glare from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Remember the sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter, so stay protected even if you don't think you'll get burned.
You wear your skin your entire life, so be sure it stays healthy - take precautions to protect it year round from hazardous UV rays.