How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?
You would need to be living under a rock to not hear about the dangers of sun exposure and skin cancer. While living under a rock would be good protection from the sun rays, most people enjoy going out in the sun. However, harmful UV rays can cause damage to the skin that can put you at higher risk for skin cancer, which is why sunscreen and protective clothing is so important. But, how often do you need to apply sunscreen for it to be effective?
Sunscreen comes in many different varieties, all offering different levels of protection. The sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreens is their level of protection against harmful UV rays. Basically, they extend the time you can be in the sun without burning or harming the skin. A sunscreen with SPF 15 means that it should protect your skin 15 times longer against damage than without any sunscreen. Higher SPF also means it filters out more harmful rays. SPF 15 can filter out about 93% of harmful UV rays, while SPF 50 can filter out up to 98% of the rays that can harm the skin.
How often you apply sunscreen really does not change with the SPF rating. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should apply about one ounce of sunscreen every two hours for maximum protection. Even if the sun is not out, the UV rays can still be damaging, so sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin.
To learn more on how to protect your skin from damage and higher risks of skin cancer, talk to your local dermatologist. They can recommend the right sunscreen and preventive options for protecting you and your family from damaging your skin while outdoors.
Posted on behalf of:
Olansky Dermatology Associates
Peachtree Lenox Building
3379 Peachtree Road #500
Atlanta, GA 30326