Why Should I Use Sunscreen?

The sun is our friend but we need to screen out some of those powerful UV rays. Dermatologists generally recommend a sunblock product with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreens should be applied 15-20 minutes before sun exposure to allow a protective film to develop, then reapplied after water contact and sweating. Some sunblocks can lose effectiveness after two hours, so reapply frequently. Wearing a hat and sunglasses will help to protect you even further. Limit your sun exposure especially if you are fair skinned or burn/freckle easily.

The top 5 sunscreen brands recommended by Dermatologists are:

1. Neutrogena - Contains Helioplex™, shown to deliver very high, very broad and photo-stable UV protection, providing a high level of UVA protection.

2. Coppertone - One of the best known suncare products offers numerous variations of suncreen options.

3. Anthelios - A L'Oreal exclusive contains Ecamsule (Mexoryl XL) shown to reduce the skin damage associated with UV exposure.

4. Blue Lizard - An Australian brand now made in Tennessee that uses a unique formulation including a micronized Zinc Oxide that allows the protectant to form an even barrier against UV rays.

5. SolBar - Comes in an SPF 50 with broad spectrum protective ingredients to help extend the amount of time you can safely stay in the sun.

Unfortunately even when we try to avoid it sunburns happen. Try these steps to help alleviate the pain and suffering:

  • Soothe your skin using a washcloth soaked in cold skim milk. The coolness takes out the initial fire, and the milk creates a protein film that will helps ease discomfort. You can also try cool wet compresses or Witch Hazel for 20 minutes 3 to 4 times a day to relieve pain and itching.

  • Protect the burned skin from the sun. (nothing feels worse than more sun on your already damaged skin - ouch!) 

  • Apply a good moisturizer, such as Hydrating Body Milk, 3 times a day to reduce dryness and peeling.

  • Hydrate! Drink lots of water and avoid alcoholic and carbonated beverages.

  • To relieve pain and reduce inflammation, take aspirin, NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol).

  • Soak in a cool tub with oatmeal (Aveeno makes a good one) added to help relieve itching and soothe the burn.

Note: If your skin blisters, you run a fever or you feel dizzy, faint or very dehydrated contact your doctor for additional treatment. A sunburn is a burn and may require medical treatment.

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