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USE OF SUNSCREEN

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USE OF SUNSCREEN

Sunscreen is a product that you put on your skin to protect it from the sun's UV rays. But it is important to know that sunscreen is just a filter-it does not block all UV rays.

Sunscreens are available in many forms-lotions, creams, ointments, gels, sprays, wipes and lip balms to nae a few.

Some cosmetics, such as moisturizers, lipsticks and foundations are considered sunscreen products if they have sunscreen. Some makeup contains sunscreen, but you have to check the label-makeup, including lipstick, without sunscreen does not provide protection.

READ LABELS

When choosing a sunscreen product, be sure to read the label. Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB rays) and with sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher are recommended.

Sun protection factor (SPF): The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. A higher SPF number means more UVB protection.

Sunscreens labeled with SPF's as high as 100+ are available. Higher numbers do mean more protection, but many people don't understand the SPF scale. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely.

Sunscreens with an SPF lower than 15 must now include a warning on the label stating that the product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.

Broad spectrum sunscreens: Sunscreen products can only be labeled "broad spectrum" if they have been tested and shown to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Some of the chemicals in sunscreens that help protect against UVA rays include avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Only broad spectrum sunscreen products with an SPF of 15 or higher can state that they help protect against skin cancer and early skin aging if use as directed with other sun protection measures (as discussed last week).

Water resistant sunscreen: Sunscreens are no longer allowed to be labeled as "waterproof" or "sweatproof" because these terms can be misleading. Sunscreens can claim to be "water resistant", but they have to state whether they protect the skin for 40 or 80 minutes of swimming, based on testing.

Expiration dates: Check the expiration date to be sure it's still effective. Most sunscreen products are good for at least 2-3 years, but you may need to shake the bottle to remix the ingredients. Sunscreens that have been exposed to heat for long periods may be less effective.

BE SURE TO APPLY THE SUNSCREEN PROPERLY

Always follow the label directions. Most recommend applying sunscreen generously. When putting it on, pay close attention to your face, ears, neck, arms and any other areas not covered by clothing. If you're going to wear insect repellant or makeup, put the sunscreen on first.

Ideally, about 1 ounce of sunscreen (about a shot glass or palmful) should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck and face of the average adult. Sunscreens needs to be reapplied at least every 2 hours to maintain protection. Sunscreens can wash off when you swim and/or sweat and then wipe off with a towel, so they might have to be reapplied more often. Be sure to read the label. And don't forget your lips, lip balm with sunscreen is also available.

I hope the information shared this month helps you enjoy the sun a little more safely!!

New topic next month!!

 

Barrett brings 40 years of business leadership experience to ElderCaring. It is her goal for each client to receive an in-home assessment to assist in a smooth transition. Her assistance in navigating the complex healthcare system as well as difficult life decisions that our clients face give ElderCaring a unique advantage.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 September 2017
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