Healthy Living: Saving Skin

We are smack dab in the middle of summer. Mask-free and carefree. But there is one thing you should not forget while enjoying the summer sun…your sunscreen!Cream 4713579 640

But how do you know if you’re choosing the right one?

More than one out of every three Americans gets sunburned each year and having five or more sunburns doubles your risk of melanoma. Your best defense, lather up with sunscreen. But which one is the best one?

Dermatologists recommend choosing a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, and according to the FDA, choosing a 100 plus SPF isn’t more protective than a sunscreen rated at 60 plus SPF.

Also, some sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, but not against UVA rays which penetrate the skin more deeply. Look for sunscreens labeled broad spectrum which protects against both.

The environment working group analyzed 500 sunscreens and found 75-percent did not provide adequate sun protection or included harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone and homosalate, which can cause hormone changes. You can find a list of 200 hundred sunscreens that got a thumbs up at ewg.org/sunscreens. But you don’t have to buy new sunscreen every summer. The FDA requires all sunscreens to retain their original strength for at least three years.

If you have tattoos, will they protect your skin from the sun? The answer is no. They don’t offer any protection against the sun’s rays and can actually be damaged by UV rays. In particular, yellow and red inks contain a chemical called cadmium sulfide, which can cause skin rashes or scaley, flaky skin when it bakes in the sun.

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