With the weather warming and COVID-19 restrictions loosening, more people are gathering together outside. So this is a good time for a reminder about protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. Sun exposure ages your skin and increases your risk of skin cancer, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is the most common type of cancer in the U.S.
“You can reduce your risk of developing basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma cancers by staying out of the sun and by wearing properly applied sunscreen,” says Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist.
She says that most people don’t wear enough sunscreen. And they often forget to reapply it when necessary. Her No. 1 tip is to use a shot glass sized amount of sunscreen for your face, neck, chest and hands only. That may seem like a lot, but if you apply it slowly, Davis says the sunscreen will eventually soak into your skin. She suggests you apply a similar thickness of sunscreen to other sun-exposed areas of your body before heading outside.
If you don’t like the texture of lotion, Davis recommends you try spray or gel. Those products must also be applied properly, so follow directions on the label. Sun protective clothing will also protect your skin, as will staying in the shade. Davis says even though we talk about sunscreen in the warmer months, you should use it on sun exposed parts of your body all year long.
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