Sun Protection FAQs

Sunscreen

  • Use sunscreens with broad spectrum SPF values of 15 or higher
    • Broad Spectrum means protection from UVA and UVB sun rays.
    • UVA rays are responsible for the aging effect of the sun; however overexposure can cause skin cancer.
    • UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer.
  • SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
    • Indication of the amount of time it is safe to spend in the sun without burning
    • These numbers refer to the product’s ability to deflect the sun’s burning rays (UVB)
    • SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens filter 98%, and SPF 100 filter 99%. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. No sunscreen protects you completely.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply at least every 2 hours and after swimming/vigorous sweating.
    • Sunscreen protects through a chemical reaction with the skin which takes ~15-20 minutes for activation.
  • Sunscreen products that are not broad spectrum or that are broad spectrum with SPF values from 2-14 will be labeled with a warning indicating the product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.
  • Water resistance claims on the product’s front label must tell how much time a user can expect to get the declared SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating, either 40 or 80 minutes. Manufacturers cannot make claims that sunscreens are “waterproof” or “sweatproof” or identify their products as “sunblocks.” Also, sunscreens cannot claim protection immediately on application or protection for more than 2 hours without reapplication.
  • UV Sun Protection Clothing
    • The finer the weave, the greater the protection
    • Silk is best
    • Nylon stockings have an SPF of about 2
    • Hats are essential. Straw hats offer poor protection because the holes let light through. A cotton hat with a tight weave is better
    • While clothing provides some protection, a standard white t-shirt only has an SPF of about 7. If it’s wet, the SPF can go down as low as 3. The darker and thicker the clothing, the more protection it provides.
    • Sun protective clothing available
  • Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 AM & 2 PM