As the weather warms up and summer approaches, many of us are eager to spend more time outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, picnicking, or simply lounging by the pool, enjoying the sun and fresh air can be a delightful experience. But it is important to remember that the sun’s UV rays can also be harmful to our skin. To protect ourselves from skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer, it is essential to wear sunblock every time we go outside.
What is Sunblock and How Does it Work?
Sunblock, also known as sunscreen, is a product that protects the skin from harmful UV rays. It works by providing a barrier between the skin and the sun, reducing the risk of skin damage and cancer. There are two types of sunblock: physical and chemical.
Physical sunblock works by reflecting the sun’s rays away from the skin, while chemical sunblock absorbs the UV rays and converts them into heat, which is then released from the skin. It is important to choose a sunblock that is appropriate for your skin type and provides adequate protection.
What SPF Should You Use?
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, refers to the amount of protection a sunblock provides against UV rays. A higher SPF means more protection. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. It is also important to reapply sunblock every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
What Types of Sunblock Should You Use?
There are a variety of sunblock products available on the market, including creams, lotions, sprays, and sticks. When choosing a sunblock, it is important to consider the type of sunblock and the SPF, as well as how often it needs to be reapplied.
For sensitive skin, physical sunblock is recommended as it is less likely to cause skin irritation. Chemical sunblock can sometimes cause skin irritation and breakouts.
How to Apply Sunblock
Sunblock should be applied evenly to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, arms, legs, and back. It is recommended to use about one ounce of sunblock for every application. Sunblock should be applied 30 minutes before going outside, giving it enough time to be fully absorbed into the skin.
It is also important to choose a sunblock that is water-resistant, especially if you will be spending time in or around water. Water-resistant sunblock will not be washed off as easily as regular sunblock, providing better protection while swimming or sweating.
Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun
In addition to wearing sunblock, there are several other steps you can take to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Wear protective clothing: This includes wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. Clothing can provide an additional layer of protection from the sun’s rays.
- Stay in the shade: Whenever possible, seek out shade, especially during peak sun hours, which are typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wear sunglasses: Sunglasses protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them from harmful UV rays.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but it can also help to protect your skin from sun damage.
- Check the UV index: Before you go outside, check the UV index for your area to determine the strength of the sun’s rays. This will help you determine the level of protection you need.
Wearing sunblock is an essential part of taking care of your skin. It helps to protect against skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer caused by UV rays. When choosing a sunblock, it is important to consider the type of sunblock and the SPF, as well as how often it needs to be reapplied. Remember to apply sunblock evenly and to all exposed skin before going outside. By taking these steps, you can enjoy the sun while also protecting your skin.
Don’t let the fear of sun damage keep you from enjoying the outdoors. With a little preparation, you can protect your skin and have a great time in the sun. So grab your sunblock, hat, and sunglasses, and head out to enjoy all that summer has to offer.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.