Swimming and sunscreen: What you need to know

Written by Community Health Network on 5/27/2014 7:00:00 AM

Give sunscreen time to absorb before swimmingMemorial Day weekend marks the beginning of swim season. Being at the pool or beach all day can take a toll on your skin because the sun penetrates beyond the surface of the water. Chlorinated pool water is very reflective and salt water at the beach is abrasive to the skin because the mix of salty water and sand, which wears off sunscreen.

Before you dive into the pool or make a splash in the ocean, know how to keep your skin protected from the suns harmful rays.

Apply sunscreen

A one-time application of sunscreen during the day does not provide 100 percent protection from UVB and UVA light. The SPF rating refers to the amount of time of skin protection from UVA and UVB light. Therefore, the lower the number, the less time your skin is protected.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (it protects against UVA and UVB rays) rated SPF 30 or higher. One ounce of sunscreen is considered a 'palmful', and this amount should cover the arms, legs, neck and face of the average adult. If you are spraying on the sunscreen, be sure to rub it in to avoid missing a spot. Wait 15 minutes after application before entering water, as the sunscreen needs time to absorb.

Don't forget to protect the top of your head with a hat, the top of your feet with shoes and your eyes with sunglasses.

Reapply sunscreen

Don't skimp on sunscreen! Reapply every two hours. 

Water-proof and water-resistance sunscreens do not mean you don't have to reapply. Water-resistant sunscreen protects your skin for approximately 40 minutes. Water-proof sunscreen protects for about 80 minutes.

Remember: When you towel dry off water or sweat, you are rubbing the sunscreen off. Remember to reapply.

Seek shade

The sun is the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; therefore anytime between noon and 2 p.m. is the best time to seek shade. Even if you reapply the sunscreen, take a break and seek out shady area. Take the time to relax and rehydrate. It’s good for your body and it’s good for your skin.

For more ways to stay safe in the sun, visit our website.

Tags: SPF , sunscreen , UV rays , UVA , UVB | Posted in: Skin Cancer

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