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Published on June 15, 2022

5 Tips to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

5 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

It’s summertime, and many of us are headed outdoors to enjoy the sunshine! But don’t forget — about 1 in 5 people will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Don’t let yourself be a statistic!

Sunscreen is important for protecting your skin from sun damage. But are you getting the most out of your sunscreen? Here are a few tips to ensure you get the best protection.

  1. If you are going to be outside for extended periods of time, aim for an SPF of at least 30 with both UVA and UVB protection.
  2. Apply your sunscreen every 2 hours, and reapply every time you swim or sweat.
  3. You need around 1.5 ounces of sunscreen to cover your whole body. 1.5 ounces is about the size of a shot glass. Additionally, you need a nickel-sized amount to cover your face. For spray sunscreens, apply until the area is glistening, which should be about 6 seconds per body part. Be sure to rub the spray sunscreen in.
  4. UVA rays penetrate car windows, so sun protection is important in the car, too.
  5. Sunscreen expires, so check the dates on your containers!

In addition to applying sunscreen, consider wearing breathable clothing with built-in SPF. These fabrics are especially good for young children and babies, whose skin is more sensitive.

Early cancer detection saves lives, so see your dermatologist annually for a checkup. But if you have a mole that is changing in size, shape or color, get it checked out right away.

Be safe, play outside and have fun!

About the Author

Natalie Depcik-Smith, MD

Dermatopathologist Natalie Depcik-Smith, MD, serves as the medical director for the multi-disciplinary melanoma/sarcoma program at the Cone Health Cancer Center.