Sunscreen a Summer Must-Have

Saturday, June 30, 2018

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Add sunscreen to your list of summer must-haves. a ll skin needs protection from the sun's UV rays, and Fontana Pharmacy carries a pretty impressive selection. Here's what you need to know about sunscreen: Your sunscreen should provide broad spectrum protection, to ensure you are protected from both long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

UVB rays damage the outer layer of your skin and cause you to burn or tan; UVA rays penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) causing your skin to age prematurely by altering skin DNA.

Broad spectrum protection is essential because exposure to both types of rays increases your risk of skin cancer.

A quick look at your sunscreen's label and ingredients list should indicate whether the product provides broad spectrum protection.

Check also for products with the ingredient zinc oxide which protects against the full range of UVA/B rays, and are always an effective and safe choice.

Another key term to be on the lookout for is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The SPF is an indication of what fraction of the sun's rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied your sunscreen. The effectiveness of SPF is affected by many factors like the time of day, amount of properly applied sunscreen, and reflections from surfaces like water or sand.

The table below, prepared by SimplySunSafe, will help you to better understand what protection different SPF ratings give you:

SPF Rating UVB Protection (%)

None 0

2 50

15 93

30 97

50 98

100 99

The difference between an SPF rating of 30 and one of 100 is almost negligible. But, SimplySunSafe agrees with the FDA that you choose a sunscreen with an SPF rating no lower than 30. Plus, remember to reapply at least every two hours.

There are a myriad sunscreen options at your disposal to keep your skin safe as you prepare to face the sun. Hats and sunglasses are a must, but your sunscreen still remains your best option.

Among the noted sunscreen brands, such names as Neutrogena, Coppertone, La Roche-Posay Anthelios, Blue Lizard, Aveeno, Olay, Vanicream, and Bull Frog will always feature prominently. However, there are several other brands which may prove to be just as effective as their more renowned counterparts. They offer, among other things, water-resistance and work well with make-up. Over to you now — it's time to save your skin. Pop by Fontana Pharmacy to source your bottle of sunscreen.

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