Just because you are social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go out in your backyard to enjoy the nice weather that spring promises.
However, in addition to protecting yourself from COVID-19, it is important to remember to protect your skin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin can be damaged from the sun’s ultraviolet rays in as little as 15 minutes. That’s why it’s important to keep your skin safe from the sun.
Sunscreen plays an important part in sun protection. Regular daily use of sunscreen with an SPF-15 can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent and lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent, the Skin Cancer Foundation said. In addition, it can also prevent premature skin again caused by the sun, including wrinkles, sagging, and age spots.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the Five Ws (and H) of Sunscreen, which are:
Who: Everyone under the sun, literally. It is recommended that men, women, and children over the age of six months should use sunscreen every day.
What: Broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher; SPF 30 or higher for a day outdoors. There are two types of sunscreen – physical sunscreen which blocks and scatters UV rays before they penetrate the skin, and chemical sunscreen, which absorbs UV rays before they can damage the skin.
Ann Welch, FNP-C, with Trinity Health’s dermatology department, advises against making your own sunscreen, noting: “If you make it yourself, how do you stabilize it to make sure it stays safe after it’s made?”
When: Every day; 30 minutes prior to going outdoors. Reapply every two hours. Don’t let the clouds fool you; even when it’s cloudy, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the Earth, the Skin Cancer Foundation said.
How: One ounce- or two tablespoons – to entire body for each application. If using a spray sunscreen, apply until an even sheer appears on the skin.
Why: Reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer.