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Another common sense note from Jen Kincaid of Allstate. Have a question, give me a call @ 412-489-6443

Summer UV Protection Essentials

UV protection essentials.

It’s that time of year again. When the mercury soars and the days grow brighter, it can only mean one thing — it’s summer!

While you plan beach outings and lazy days under the sun, take a moment to consider your family’s ultraviolet (UV) ray protection. Harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays may cause early skin aging and increase skin cancer risk, says the American Cancer Society (ACS). From protective hats and sunglasses to sunscreen and more, the following are some simple steps you can take to help reduce your UV exposure.

Sunscreen

Though many of us already know sunscreen is an important tool in helping prevent UV damage, it’s important to read labels closely to get its maximum benefit. Although no sunscreen can protect completely from the sun’s harmful UV rays, the higher the SPF factor, the more coverage it generally affords, says the ACS. For this reason, they recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen (offering UVA and UVB protection) with an SPF of at least 30. SPF 30 sunscreens help filter out approximately 97 percent of harmful rays when used appropriately, according to the ACS.

Using sunscreen appropriately is key. That means applying sunscreen liberally and thoroughly covering all exposed areas, including your ears, hands and neck, says the ACS. An adult would need about a palmful of sunscreen to cover their limbs, face and neck. If you also need to protect your torso, plan on using additional amounts. And if you’re layering bug repellent or makeup, put the sunscreen on underneath first.

Water activities and heavy sweating can both be common features of outdoor summer activities, tempting many of us to purchase “water-resistant” sunscreen. Check the product’s label to confirm how many minutes of moisture-resistant protection it provides — in many cases, says the ACS, the product is only effective for 40 or 80 minutes. You’ll need to thoroughly reapply sunscreen for continued protection beyond that time.

One final, easily-overlooked word of advice regarding sunscreen: Check the expiration date. Like many products, sunscreen can lose its effectiveness over time. Toss the expired stuff and use fresh product in order to help ensure maximum sun protection benefits, the ACS advises.

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