Summer is here! And there’s so much to look forward to at summer gatherings — food, drinks, games, and sunshine.
But as enjoyable as it can be to fire up the grill and spend an afternoon with friends and family, outdoor parties can present health risks too. Before you head out to a barbecue or outside party, apply sunscreen.
Although the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends wearing sunscreen every day of the year, when you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s especially important to put it on.
The ACS and the Food and Drug Administration suggest choosing a sunscreen with the following:
Broad spectrum protection.
This will ward off UVA and UVB rays. You want protection from both because while UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancers, exposure to UVA rays also puts you at risk for developing skin cancer, as well as premature aging.
Sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher.
SPF refers to how much sunscreen can protect against UVB rays. To understand the significance of these numbers, the ACS breaks it down this way: SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 about 97 percent, SPF 50 about 98 percent, and SPF 100 about 99 percent.
While no sunscreens are waterproof, those that indicate they are water resistant must state whether the protection lasts for 40 or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. To best guard against sun exposure while in water or while sweating, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours.
So put on your sunscreen and have some fun in the sun!