Sunscreen: How To Use It Effectively


Sunscreen is a must for people living in Colorado, as the higher elevation makes the chances of sun damage--or worse, skin cancer--much higher.

But with so many brands out there, how do you decide which sunscreen is the best one to protect you from harmful UV rays?

Consumer Reports tested multiple brands, and says price has nothing to do with performance.

An SPF 30 product usually protects your for 10 hours, but experts say be sure to reapply after sweating or taking a dip. The FDA recommends applying sunscreen every 90 minutes to two hours, as it typically begins to lose effectiveness after that.

It's also advised to wait 15-30 minutes after applying before going outside, as sunscreen needs time to absorb before it can protect your skin.

Spray sunscreens are growing in popularity, but experts say you shouldn't use spray sunscreens on children unless there is no alternative. If you must use a spray sunscreen on kids, spray it in your hands and rub it onto the child's skin.

If you are using it on yourself, rub it in after spraying it on your body--and make sure to use an ample amount. Most people put on far less sunscreen than they need, and that goes double with spray sunscreens, where it is easy to miss spots or only get a small amount on your skin.

When it comes to babies, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants six months and younger be kept out of the sun. If outside, dress them in lightweight clothing and a hat, and only apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to small areas, like the baby's face.

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