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Use Sunscreen


Your first measure of protection is applying sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. The SPF number represents the level of protection you will receive against UV rays.

There are two different types of UV rays, UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are less likely to cause sunburn, but penetrate the skin more deeply. These rays are responsible for signs of aging because they cause damage to collagen and elastin in the skin. UVB rays are responsible for tanning the skin and causing sunburn. UVB rays are the main cause for skin cancer. Although, they are responsible for different health risks, they are both just as harmful to your skin. Look for sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

The American Cancer Society explains that when you are using an SPF 30 sunscreen you get the equivalent of one minute of UVB rays for every 30 minutes you spend in the sun. So, if you spent one hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen, it is the same as spending two minutes completely unprotected.

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