When making the decision about which sunscreen to purchase and use, it is important to remember that each person's skin is unique, meaning that it may respond differently to the available options. So how do you decide which one is the right one for you? SPF is a good guideline that will help with skin protection. Sunscreens with numbers above 30 are ideal, but in situations where acne prone or sensitive skin is a major concern, there are also brands that have the label of “sensitive skin” for a more gentle effect.
Before taking a step outside, sunscreen should be applied on every inch of your body not covered by clothing, including: back of the neck, ears, lips, and even your feet. Even on cloudy days where the sun isn’t shining, the effects of the sun’s damaging UV rays can still pass through the clouds, causing damage to your skin. UV rays shine with the same intensity all year round. Even with Houston’s changing weather, do not make the mistake of thinking that you are protected from the sun during the winter time.
How can you determine is the amount of sunscreen being used is enough? That’s a difficult question to answer exactly, but the rule of thumb for adults is that one full dose of sunscreen is equivalent to one full ounce, and the effectiveness of sunscreen is reduced dramatically when people use less. It is also important to reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after being in the water. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended to reapply every two hours of sun exposure.
Don’t forget that using sunscreen does not mean that you’re automatically protected against sunburn and skin cancer. Use other precautions as well, such as sunglasses, hats, and staying in the shade as much as possible. Children that are exposed to the sun at an early age increase their chances of receiving permanent skin damage, and even developing skin cancer. One bad sunburn during childhood can double the risk of acquiring melanoma.