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Summer vacations are here and the sunny, hot weather is in full swing. People are hitting the beach and spending a lot more time outdoors. With so many things going on, something such as sunscreen can sometimes take a back seat in priorities. But now is NOT the time to get lazy about sunscreen! It would be very unwise to spend the days outdoors, either at the beach, the pool, or playing sports, and not wear sunscreen to protect your skin. We all have a lot of skin. It is the largest organ on your entire body. We wear clothing to help protect our skin. What is not protected by clothing should be protected using a good sunscreen.  

Protect Your Skin

Boy and girl sitting on the beach with sunscreen.Sunlight is essential for many important bodily functions, including producing Vitamin D and maintaining your rhythm and mood. Without sunlight, everything would be very dreary, right? On the flip side, too much sun exposure is also quite harmful. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation may result in short-term damage such as sunburn, and long-term damage such as signs of aging and even skin cancer. 

Even with so many risks, some people think that heading to the beach with nothing more than their swimsuit and towel is a good idea. It is not a good idea at all. It is not recommended. Any prolonged UV light exposure will put you at a great risk for skin cancer. 

So what can you do to protect their skin from the UV rays? Sunscreen of course! Sunscreens contain filters that reflect, scatter, or absorb UV radiation that would otherwise reach your skin. There are different types of sunscreens available for you to choose from, with different strengths and odors. You visit the store and see many different options. How can I choose an effective sunscreen? Consult the EWG Guide to sunscreen.

EWG Guide to Sunscreen

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes their guide to sunscreens, which provides you with sunscreen safety ratings so you can make the right purchase for you and your family. If you are unfamiliar with the EWG, they are an American activist group that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability. Check out their website! It is loaded with a lot of information about healthy living.

Use sunscreen correctly for effective protection

It is recommended to use sunscreen with an sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher when you spend time outdoors. SPF 30 protects against 97% of UV rays. Sunscreens with an SPF of 50 or higher only provide a minimal additional protection against UV radiation. 

Whichever you choose to protect your body's largest organ and help prevent cancer and other skin problems, it is important to pick a sunscreen that has you safely and effectively covered. Whatever you are wearing, reapply every two hours if you are going to be outdoors to optimize sun protection.  Don't jeopardize your health if you can easily prevent it with a good sunscreen.

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Written by Bill Pepe

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