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Regardless of your past sun exposure, it is always beneficial to start protecting your skin. Research shows that regular sun protection can decrease your risk for sun cancers, reduce the number of pre cancerous lesions on your skin, and halt further aging and wrinkling.
• It is important to wear sunscreen and use sun protection every day. You should apply sunscreen the first thing in the morning immediately after you wash your face. Wear long sleeved shirts and a broad brimmed hat to protect your ears and neck. Everyone has sun exposure every day. Sun protection should be used every day.
• You should use a sunscreen that has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 with some protection against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are many products on the market. If you are in doubt, visit your drug store and ask your pharmacist. For women who wear makeup, most cosmetic companies now make foundation, bases, or moisturizers that contain sunscreen.
• Remember that water, sand, and snow reflect light and can cause burns more quickly that normal.
• Remember to reapply sunscreen whenever you are outside for a prolonged period (more than 2-3 hours), if you sweat a lot, or have been in the water.
• The shade (like an umbrella or porch) can offer some protection from the sun, but you can still get harmful amounts of UVB.
• Clothing can help protect from the sun. The tighter the weave, the better the protection; the protection offered by clothes diminishes if wet. A hat provides an SPF of about 5 and so should be used in addition to sunscreen and should be broad-brimmed – not a cap.
Enjoy being outside, just remember to be safe from the sun!
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