It’s summer. The weather is gorgeous and sunny days are plentiful. Whether you are going to the beach, relaxing by the pool, hiking in the woods or just playing in the park with your kids, it’s important to protect your skin.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. In fact, 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer each year. Furthermore, an additional 77,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, a far more severe type of skin cancer.

So while you are enjoying some sun this summer, be safe and use a quality sunscreen. But with so many types of sunscreens on the market today, it can be hard to know which one will the safest and most effective. Here are some helpful tips, provided by the Environmental Working Group, when it comes to buying sunscreen.

1. The Food and Drug Administration states that SPF’s higher than 50+ are no more effective than their lower counterparts. In fact, they can make consumers overly confident and not reapply sunscreen as frequently as they should. So bottom line, don’t waste your money on a really high SPF. An SPF of 30+ should be effective.

2. Read the labels! Look for products that contain zinc, titanium dioxide, avenobenzone and Mexoryl SX. These ingredients stay on your skin’s surface, effectively blocking UV rays.

3. Re-apply sunscreen frequently. Even if the label says it’s waterproof, it can still get rubbed off on towels, blankets, clothing, etc.

4. When trying a new brand of sunscreen, test a small patch on an inconspicuous spot to check for allergic reactions. This is especially important when applying a new sunscreen on children.


American Cancer Society:

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