5 Here Comes the Sun (Screen)

You know that sunscreen is important to stave off skin cancer and that it can also help prevent premature aging, but with so many choices in the sunscreen aisle today, how do you decide? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has clamped down on sunscreen manufacturers to get them to make it easier.

For starters, choose products labeled with "broad spectrum" and sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher. Sunscreen products that are not so-labelled can't say they help prevent skin cancer. Broad spectrum means that the product protects against both ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) and ultraviolet A radiation (UVA).

Water resistance claims on a label must tell how much time you will be protected while swimming or sweating. Banned are the words "waterproof," "sweatproof" and "sunblock." Sunscreens also can't claim protection immediately upon application or protection for more than two hours without reapplication unless they submit data and get approval from FDA.

And sunscreen is just one part of effective skin cancer prevention. Broad spectrum sunscreens with SPFs of 15 and above now carry labels that say they "can reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging" if used as directed with other measures such as limiting your time in the sun and wearing long sleeves, pants, hats and sunglasses.

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TIP: Always apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply it at least every two hours and immediately after swimming or heavy sweating. Use at least one ounce, or two tablespoons, per application.



The percentage of women who have tried a sunless tanner product, with 92% saying that they had used one within the last six months.

Source: The Beauty Company


Is there really such a thing as a "good" type of skin cancer?

No. Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are less aggressive than melanoma, but they are by no means "good." If left unchecked, these skin cancers can be fatal and/or disfiguring. See your dermatologist yearly for skin cancer screenings.

Get Checked Out

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Learn more about what skin cancer looks like, and how to prevent or treat it:
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