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Protect Yourself from the Sun
The sun can be harmful all year long however in the summer we have more skin exposed and spent longer times outside. It is important to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. There are many ways to get protection from the sun and not all are created equally. Clothing is a great option to protect yourself and your family from the sun however not all clothing is created equal. A white cotton t-shirt only provides about the protection of SPF 5. Darker clothing with a tighter weave has a higher SPF value and therefore provides more protection.
Sunscreen vs. Sunblock
Technically the difference is sunblock reflects the sun’s rays and sunscreen absorbs the sun’s UV rays however most products contain some combination of both and the effect is the same you get protection from the UV rays.
How to interpret SPF
You all have heard the myth that sunblock over a certain number does not work any better. This is both true and false. The way SPF is calculated is comparing the time is takes to burn on exposed untreated skin to the amount of time it takes to burn with a certain product applied. The SPF is the number of times longer it takes for skin to burn. The higher the number the longer the protection you will have.
Are You Using Enough Sunblock?
Using enough sunblock is almost as important as using sunblock at all. Most products recommend using a full shot glass full of sunscreen for your entire body. The amount of protection is not proportional to the amount that is applies. According to a recent study published in the New York Times, if you use half of the recommended amount an SPF of 70 Sunblock only provides around SPF 8 protection.
This one gets talked about often and for good reason. Water, sweat, toweling and many other things can reduce the effectiveness of the sunblock. Choosing a waterproof sunblock can help but not 100% and nothing can protect from toweling off the sunblock. It is important to reapply every few hours and after toweling or being in the water.
Don’t Forget Your Eyes
Your eyes are one of the most sensitive areas that are exposed to the sun. Wear Sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. Polarized glasses are good for driving and being on the water because they reduce glare.