Sunscreen Sun Safety

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. With many of us spending more time outdoors this season, it’s important to protect ourselves from sunburn and skin damage.

Here are a few things to remember when applying sunscreen:

  • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen 15 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every two hours or sooner after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Take care to put sunblock on especially delicate areas, including the tops of the feet, neck, ears, scalp/top of the head. Most adults need 1 ounce of sunscreen, approximately the amount of a shot glass, to cover their bodies, according to the organization.
  • Because of the different forms of sunscreen available today, including lotion, sprays, sticks and gels, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds us that it is especially important to read the package directions to ensure the proper application.
  • Sunscreen does expire, though not all manufacturers include an expiration date on the bottle. If the sunscreen purchased does not have an expiration date, consider it expired three years after its purchase, according to the FDA. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends writing the purchase date on the bottle if there’s no expiration date so you know when it’s time to replace it.
  • The Academy also recommends looking for visible changes to the sunscreen. If there are any changes to its color or consistency, throw it away and purchase new.

Lastly, if you happen to get a sunburn, check our post from 2019 that shares which home sunburn remedies to use and which to avoid.

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