Under the Sun

If skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, why do we often opt out of using sunblock?
Many of us in our teens and twenties, like to think we’re invincible. And although there is nothing like a great tan and basking in the sun, the problems usually hit you further down the road.

So what do all these letters and numbers even mean?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Be sure to go for a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30. This will block out 97% of the UV rays. Anything higher than a 30 will allow you to stay in the sun longer, anything less, won’t give you sufficient protection. Also, look for a product that is broad-spectrum, this means they guard against both UVA and UVB rays.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB? UVA stands for Ultra Violet Aging, these rays cause wrinkles, age spots and lead to premature aging. UVB on the other hand stands for Ultra Violet Burning, these are the rays that turn us lobster red. Check that the sunscreen is Broad Spectrum or targets both UVA and UVB rays.

Since sunscreens get deep into our pores so that the UV rays don’t, be sure to wash your face and body thoroughly after each application otherwise you might end up with a minor break out.

Does this mean I should stay out of the sun?

Of course not! With patio season and beach season, soaking up some rays is necessary. Just remember to be prepared. If your shadow is shorter than you, make sure you reach for the sunblock.

Here's a  sunscreen that leaves the skin soft and silky. This quick absorbing formula glides on smoothly and is ideal for both the face and body. SPF 30 Delicate Skin Ultra Soothing Lotion, $34, Lancaster.

Compact and portable, this face stick is formulated for all of the delicate areas of the face. With UVA and UVB filters, this water-resistant and hypoallergenic formula leaves the skin with a dry-touch - sans greasiness. SPF 60 Face Stick, $10, Ombrelle, ombrelle.ca.
This fragrance-free and paraben-free spray can be used on both the face and body. It is also water-resistant and hypoallergenic with a light velvety texture. SPF 45 Sport Anthelios High Protection UVA-UVB Spray, $29.50, La Roche Posay, MySkinCheck.ca

Filter out those rays with  a travel sized kit with all of the essentials: Solar Defense Booster, Multivitamin Body Block, Solar Shield Stick and After Sun Repair. Daylight Defense Kit, $50, Dermalogica, dermalogica.ca.

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