Summer is here and its a good time to be thinking about protecting your skin. Daniel M. Siegel, MD, FAAD, the President of American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has published a nice article that include several good tidbits for keeping your skin better protected.
The Food & Drug Administration has decided to extend the compliance date for the sunscreen labeling and testing requirements. The new requirements for labeling of sunscreen products will ensure that they are clearly labeled as to their broad-spectrum protection and sun protection factor (or SPF), and whether they protect against only sunburn, or protect against both sunburn and skin cancer. The requirements also will ban misleading terms such as “waterproof” to describe these products. Extending the compliance date allows manufacturers the necessary time to test their products for broadspectrum protection and properly label them.
Until sunscreens meet the FDA’s new labeling and testing requirements, the Academy recommends that you use these simple tips to help protect yourself during the upcoming summer season – and beyond:
- Always use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen rated SPF 30 or more. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB rays). To clear up a misconception: Something rated SPF 30 is NOT “twice as strong” as something with an SPF 15.
- Use a shot glass worth of sunscreen to start and when re-applying. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and a shot glass is about the right amount of sunscreen to put on before you head outside – even on a cloudy day. Re-apply that much sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- Be fashion-forward and sun-safe. Enhance your outdoor wardrobe with everything from wide-brimmed hats to UV-resistant clothing. When used with sunscreen, these clothing items provide effective and, yes, fashionable protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Pack a sun-protection “Go Bag” before heading out. Once you hit the beach, park or playground, you will be out of luck if you forget your sunscreen. As always, it’s best to follow the tips above, but packing a “Go Bag” prior to a day at the beach, on the baseball diamond or picnicking in the park is always a good idea. Pack at least one family-sized bottle of sunscreen, hats and sunglasses for your group just to be sure you’re sun safe once outside.
- Remember that while more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, there’s plenty you can do to help prevent it, detect it – and live.