The Importance of Sun Protection
June 10, 2016
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Here's MUST know advice about sunscreens, sun sensitivity, and the most common errors in using sunscreens. The first mistake is applying sunscreen incorrectly.  Our expert advice is to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to heading out and reapply it every 2 hours. Most people use about half the amount needed for full protection which means you only get half the SPF.  Use a teaspoon on each body part or area exposed and use the highest SPF sunscreen you can find.  The second mistake is going without additional protection.  No sunscreen keeps out 100% of UV rays, so seeking shade is a good move.  Also going out before 10:00 AM or after 4:00 PM when the sunrays are not as strong is useful in UV protection.  Dressing right is important as well.  Clothing made of tightly woven cotton or a polyester-spandex blend provide a ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) above 100. In Wyoming the climate is cool enough to wear long sleeve shirts the majority of the year.  Add a broad 2” brimmed hat and sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of UV rays. The third most common mistake is not knowing which medications make you sun sensitive.  Those drugs include antibiotics, diuretics, pain relievers, antidepressants, and statins. The same holds true for anti-aging products such as retinoids and glycolic and salicylic acids. The worst day is the longest which is June 21st. However April and May are just as sunny as June, July and August. In the cool days of late spring it feels good to be out in the sun but you can get burned just as easily as in the hotter months. Snow is actually the best reflector of light, it reflects 85% of the UV rays back to you while water reflects only 4%. Have a happy and non-sunburned summer!!