Memorial Day weekend is nearly upon us, which means people will be heading to the beach and pools in droves, as the unofficial start of the summer begins. But along with soaking up the summer heat, comes the potential to soak up summer rays. While feeling the warmth of the sun feels great, it can also be dangerous. Left unprotected, harmful rays of the sun can lead to skin cancer, including the life-threatening melanoma skin cancer.
But with so many sunscreen choices available, how do you know which are the best?
Most importantly, you'll want to apply a sunscreen with either multi-spectrum or broad-spectrum coverage for both UVA and UVB. Most experts recommend a minimum of an SPF 15, but an SPF 30 is ideal. While controversial, many researchers admit that not everyone needs to use a sunscreen higher than 30, but exceptions do exist.
The SPF factor indicates how effective the particular sunscreen is in preventing UVB rays causing sunburn. For example, if you have the type of skin that normally burns in 10 minutes, then an SPF multiplies that amount of time by a factor of 15. What that means is you could potentially be under the sun's rays for 150 minutes (10 times 15) without burning.
Most experts also believe that sunscreens in the form of lotions and creams are better than sprays or powders. With sprays, some of the sunscreen is actually being wasted when sprayed into the air. Additionally, those tiny particulars can be transferred to your lungs.
Additionally, if you plan on going in the water, exercising, or will be sweating, it's recommended to buy a water-resistant sunscreen. Other varieties of sunscreen, like kid-friendly and sensitive skin are beneficial depending on your individual needs.