How to Use Sunscreen Properly

senior man putting on sunscreen

How to Use Sunscreen Properly

With summer in full swing, it is a good idea to use sunscreen regularly. Did you know that many seniors are unaware of how to use sunscreen properly or don’t use it at all? This article will give you some ideas on how best to use sunscreen so you can enjoy fun in the sun!

Why is Sunscreen Important?

As the name implies, sunscreen helps to “screen the sun.” But in more detailed terms, sunscreen helps protect your skin from damage.

The sun emits ultraviolet radiation (UV) in its rays, and this radiation can cause damage to your skin. Unprotected skin can start showing signs of damage in as little as 15 minutes. Even worse, this type of damage can lead to more serious skin problems, such as skin cancer. Seniors are more susceptible to skin damage because our skin tends to get thinner as we age, making us more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. To combat harmful UV rays, sunscreen was created to help reflect or scatter UV radiation away from any area it covers.

What is SPF?

All sunscreen labels should have a sun protection factor (SPF) rating. The SPF rating measures the effectiveness of the product’s ability to protect against certain UV radiation. Generally, the higher the SPF rating, the more protection you will receive.

However, the American Cancer Society cautions us about the numbers on the SPF scale. An SPF lower than 15 will only prevent against sunburn. It will not protect against other problems such as skin aging or cancer. An SPF of 30 is the recommended starting point when looking for sun protection. Another thing to keep in mind is that, while a higher SPF means more protection, it will not filter ALL of the UV radiation, only most of it.

How to Use Sunscreen in the Summer

Of course, sunscreen will do you no good if it isn’t applied properly. Follow these tips to ensure you are well-protected and well-informed about sunscreen usage:

  • Use about one ounce of sunscreen to cover the arms, legs, neck, and face. Ask for help in applying the sunscreen to parts of the body you are unable to reach.
  • Wait about 15 minutes after applying sunscreen to step out into the sun. This will give your skin time to absorb the sunscreen and protect you.
  • Reapply every two hours, or more often if you decide to swim, as sunscreen wears off quickly in water.
  • Don’t forget the lips! Lip balm with sunscreen is also available.
  • Choose a sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30.
  • Be sure to read the label of the sunscreen for any additional information.

Vibrant Summer Senior Living at Advent Christian Village

At Advent Christian Village, we have a variety of comfortable amenities and engaging activities for you to enjoy in the summer. Take a quiet stroll or bike ride on the miles of trails and paths located across the campus. If you’d like to beat the heat, our senior wellness center proves several exercise programs so you can stay indoors while being active and healthy. For more information about our senior living options, contact us today for more information or schedule a personal tour and see for yourself what vibrant living looks like.

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