• Bren Straulemann

Let the Sun Shine!

The spring equinox has come, the sun is shining, and the ground is no longer in danger of freezing. In the past week my son has spent more time outside than in the preceding month (he really has little tolerance for cold and wind). The sun's rays aren't as direct as they will be in another couple months, but with so many folks heading to warmer shores for Spring Break, I thought now is a great time to discuss sunscreen!

Have you found yourself wondering what SPF level to buy? Or if the SPF 30 from brand X is any better than the SPF 30 from brand Y? Have you ever found yourself wondering if all that sunscreen was safe to slather on or if you're not using enough of it?

Here are some key facts about sunscreen:

-SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays (the rays that burn and SPF 50 blocks 98%. May as well stick with SPF 30.

-the minimum amount of sunscreen needed for 1 body is 30 mL or a whole ounce. You're probably not using enough.

-Sunscreen wears off and needs to be reapplied every 2 hours regardless of whether it's billed as water or sweat resistant.

-Your risk of skin damage from UV light is the same no matter what your risk or sunburning is.

Want more facts and myths about sunscreen?

This article from Medical News Today debunks myths. If you'd rather read a sassy, adult explanation, the Pharmafist has a great webcomic in the same vein.

Healthy Children also has an article on sun safety for kids.

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