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How To Pick and Use Your Sunscreen

Summer at the Jersey shore.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  It translates to lots of time in the sun.  Too much exposure to the sun may present serious health problems.  Here are some tips to help make your summer safer.

Seaside Heights
Seaside Heights (Al Bello/Getty Images)

I’m sure you’re aware that too much sun exposure can put you at risk for skin cancer.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.  As a matter of fact, over two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.


Now that I’ve made my case, here’s some information to keep in mind before you purchase your next bottle of sunblock.

The F.D.A. has mandated new rules for sunscreen labels that will kick in next December.  Let’s get a headstart on the situation.

The new guidelines will prohibit manufacturers from putting the words “waterproof”, “sunblock”, and “sweat proof” on their labels.  There are no lotions available that can live up to those claims.

When choosing a sunscreen make sure it has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and provides protection from ultraviolet A (UVA), and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

When you use sunscreen, there is one word to keep in mind, REAPPLY .  Before going outside, cover all exposed skin with sunscreen lotion.  Reapply the lotion every two hours, even on cloudy days.  If you go swimming, put that lotion on as soon as you get out of the water.

And, finally, if you haven’t yet had your first day of summer in the sun, slather on that lotion to prevent the pain and harm of sunburn.

For more detailed information, here’s the F.D.A. website about the new sunscreen guidelines.


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