No tan is healthy. Hopefully, you use sunscreen to protect your skin. Nearly 5 million Americans are treated for skin cancer every year. When used correctly, sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and protect your complexion.
In the U.S. only a small percentage of men and women use sunscreen regularly when outside for more than an hour. And many people who do use it aren’t using it right.
Last year, the CDC reported that sunscreen users often get burned, likely because they apply too little sunscreen to protect against skin cancer — or apply or reapply it too late during sun exposure.
The best defense is to use a lot of sunscreen. Follow the CDC guidelines:
- Use an ounce (a full shot glass) of sunscreen to cover your entire exposed body, including neck, ears, top of feet and head. (Check expiration dates before using.)
- Choose sunscreen labeled broad spectrum and water resistant with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. This protects you from UV rays 30 times longer than without sunscreen.
- Choose 30 to 50 SPF for fair or sensitive complexions.
- Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside. Reapply it at least every two hours: more often when sweating or in or around water.
- Wear a hat, choose shade and schedule activities to avoid times when the sun is most intense (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Wear sunscreen year round and even when it’s cloudy.