There is no doubt that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are damaging to the skin. UV light is a major risk factor for cancer development, sunburn, and premature aging. Scientific evidence clearly supports the use of sunscreen as a safe and effective way to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun's UV radiation.
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulates sunscreen products as over-the-counter drugs. These products must prove safety and efficacy before being sold on skincare aisles. The benefits of using sunscreen have clearly been shown to outweigh any unproven human health hazards from sunscreen ingredients. The FDA has approved 17 sunscreen filters (ingredients.) Sunscreens contain one or more of these ingredients.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher (see Sun Facts to learn more.)
Correct sunscreen application impacts sunscreen effectiveness. Sunscreen should be applied liberally and often. Sunscreen should be applied prior to going outdoors and allowed to dry on the skin. This may take 10-15 minutes. UV light damage is cummulative so sunscreen should be applied daily to all exposed surfaces, even on cold or cloudy days (as UV rays penetrate the clouds.) The average adult in a bathing suit should apply 1 ounce (a shot glass full) to cover all exposed skin surfaces. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or excessively sweating for continued protection. Regardless of whether you select a sunscreen bottle, spray, or stick, applying an adequate amount of sunscreen is necessary to obtain the SPF protection shown on the sunscreen label.
The BEST sunscreen is the one you use, use liberally, and use often.
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