Slather up to protect your skin this summer!


While you should wear sunscreen year-round, it’s even more important during the summer months, when the sun is brighter and the warm weather encourages you to spend more time outdoors. Check out these five basic rules of sunscreen use before heading out.

Rule #1: Choose a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum.” That means it protects against both UVB rays – the kind that cause sunburns – and UVA rays – they kind that leads to skin cancer and premature aging.

Rule #2: Choose the right sunscreen. That means looking at two things: The SPF and the ingredient list. You want a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect from UVB rays. But the SPF doesn’t tell you anything about its ability to ward off UVA rays. For that, check the ingredient list and look for one of these: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide.

Rule #3: Reapply, reapply, reapply. No sunscreen is truly waterproof, so put it on every two hours.

Rule #4: Do it differently for the kids. Children and babies over 6 months of age can react poorly to the chemicals in an adult sunscreen, so choose sensitive skin or children’s formulas. Babies under 6 months should not be in the sun. Use canopies or shaded strollers if you must be out.

Rule #5: Apply it correctly. Put it on 15 to 30 minutes before heading out, making sure to get those easy-to-forget spots like the backs of your knees. About two tablespoons should cover your entire body.