If you can't avoid being in
the sun, use a sunscreen to help protect your skin while you are in the
Be sure to read the information on the sunscreen label about the SPF factor listed on the label and how much protection it gives your skin. Follow the directions on the label for applying the sunscreen so it is most effective in protecting your skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Choosing a sunscreen
Sunscreens come in lotions, gels,
creams, ointments, and sprays. Use a sunscreen that:
Says "broad-spectrum" that protects the skin from ultraviolet A
and B (UVA and UVB) rays.
Use lip balm or cream that has
SPF of 30 or higher to protect your lips from getting sunburned or developing
Use a higher SPF at when you are near water, at higher elevations or in tropical
climates. Sunscreen effectiveness is affected by
the wind, humidity, and altitude.
Some sunscreens say they are water-resistant or
waterproof and can protect for about 40 minutes in the sun if a person is doing
a water activity.
Applying a sunscreen
Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes
before going in the sun.
Apply sunscreen to all the skin that will
be exposed to the sun, including the nose, ears, neck, scalp, and lips.
Sunscreen needs to be applied evenly over the skin and in the amount
recommended on the label. Most sunscreens are not completely effective because
they are not applied correctly. It usually takes about
1 fl oz (30 mL) to cover an
Apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours while in the sun
and after swimming or sweating a lot. The SPF value decreases if a person
sweats heavily or is in water, because water on the skin reduces the amount of
protection the sunscreen provides. Wearing a T-shirt while swimming does not
protect your skin unless sunscreen has also been applied to your skin under the