Are You Using Enough Sunscreen?

A day at the beach means sunscreen is a must!

How much did you wear? A dollop? Or are you using it to a minimum so that a bottle will last you all summer?

Sun Awareness Week ran from May 28 - June 3, and Banana Boat Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) want to remind Canadians to protect themselves against the harsh sun.

What you need is a proper sun-protection routine. This includes seeking shade (as much as possible), wearing tightly woven clothing or UV protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection. And, the most important part is proper application and reapplication of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

For adults whose skin is mostly exposed to the sun, like while wearing a bathing suit, a 180ml bottle of sunscreen should last for six complete applications. You need to apply a golf-sized dollop of sunscreen to ensure full protection.

Here are some tips you should keep in mind before you go and have some fun in the sun.

Check the UV index
Try to check it daily or on days you know you're going to be spending a lot of time under the sun. And, be extra careful when the index is three or higher. If your shadow is shorter than you, definitely seek some shade and use sunscreen, apt clothing (tight-woven) and hats to protect yourself.

Apply sunscreen every day.
UV rays are present all year; prolonged exposure to them can lead to skin damage and in the long-run, skin cancer. Apparently, UV rays can also penetrate glass and clouds. So, ensure you're wearing sunscreen daily this summer.

Use a golf-ball-sized dollop
About one or two tablespoons of sunscreen counts as one head-to-toe application.

Apply before heading outdoors
Sunscreen must be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure in order to ensure that your skin is protected. If you forget before heading out, apply it as soon as you can. It's not late yet.

Remember the two-hour rule
You've got to reapply every two hours; and, immediately after swimming, sweating or towel-drying. When applying sunscreen that comes in a spray bottle, spray liberally and then spread evenly. Don't spray directly on your face, rather spray it on your hands and then apply.

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