Protect your Skin in the Sun

by admin on August 8, 2012

Summer is winding down, but it’s still pool/beach season out there!

Did you know that the FDA came out with new sunscreen laws to help better protect you in the sun? This government agency is finally cracking down and requiring all sunscreen makers to redesign their packaging and make sure their formulas meet all of the new regulations. These require sunscreens 1) that claim they are broad-spectrum to have an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher, 2) have their ingredients pass a test to prove that they protect against a standardized wavelength, 3) re-word all references of “Waterproof” to “Water-Resistant”, 4) include a disclaimer that informs consumers to re-apply sunscreen at least every 40 to 80 minutes, 5) make SPF 50 the highest level/number available, and 6) not claim that makeup products that contain SPF are sunscreen. Also the FDA is currently re-evaluating spray sunscreens.

While these new regulations will definitely help improve your sunscreen purchases, you still have to take precautions whenever you are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Check out these practical tips for protecting your skin from damaging UV rays:

1. Wear hats with wide 4 inch brims that cover your neck, ears, eyes, and scalp.
2. Ensure that your sunglasses have UV ray protection, which helps prevent eye damage.
3. Wear loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs. Some clothing is even made with sun protective fabric.
5. Make sure you use that sunscreen! It comes in lotions, gels, creams, ointments, and sprays. Use a sunscreen that has a SPF of at least 15 or higher and that says “broad-spectrum” which will protect your skin from ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays.
5. Use lip balm or cream that has a SPF of 15 or higher to protect your lips from getting sunburned or developing cold sores.

Last but not least, if you do happen to get a sunburn here are ways to help sooth your skin as it heals:

1. Apply cold compresses to your skin or take a cool bath to soothe the burn.
2. Rub on Aloe or a cream or gel containing ingredients such as menthol, camphor or aloe.*
3. Use an After Sun lotion to prevent your skin from peeling.

*Want to really beat that sunburn sting? For a nice chill, put your bottle of Aloe in the fridge prior to use. For an even colder freeze, squeeze the Aloe into ice cube trays and place in the freezer for an hour, then rub all over your sunburn.

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