SAFE SUN
by Laura Hudson FNP-C 

We all know that when we are out in the summer sun we need to pay attention to protecting our skin to prevent burning and lower the risk of skin cancers. Although somebaby_yoga_beach.jpg of us have more sensitive skin than others, we are all susceptible to damaging UV rays. Remembering to use a skin protectant clothing, cream or spray that helps to prevent acute and chronic damage is critical.

Using a facial moisturizer with SPF daily can help protect the most frequently exposed areas of your body from the recurrent damage that so easily can lead to skin changes like wrinklessunny-beach-girl.jpg discoloration, and even one of the varieties of skin cancers. Remembering to apply and re-apply sunscreen when you will be out in the sun for longer periods of time is critical to prevent burns that can damage skin and lead to scaring or cancer.

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Choosing a sunscreen can be a challenge. With so many choices available its hard to know what is best. Aim for 30-35 SPF as those should protect against between 96-98% of UV rays. Any higher SPF won’t be much more helpful. Look for formulas that don’t wash right off, but instead cause water to bead up when on your skin. Remember that even with spray options you really need to rub your choice into the skin for it to be effective.

It is important to look at the ingredients in your bottle. The options with Zinc Oxide are more natural than the others with chemicals that often wash off quickly requiring frequent re-application. The brands with chemicals may also put you at risk for other kinds of skin damage due to the free radicals they release as they breakdown.  The left 2 bottles of sunscreen have a myriad of chemicals.  The Badger Brand* to the right is just one of the natural effective options you can find which is zinc based and is available in local stores.         *we have no affiliation with this company and are not specifically endorsing or recommending it for all.