Diane Alter – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter
Washington, D.C., United States (4E) – The growing prevalence of skin cancer has made the need to purchase the most effective sunscreen a top priority for outdoor lovers and sunbathers.
Selecting a top-notch sunscreen can be tricky at best, so the American Melanoma Foundation has made buying a good sunscreen easier with the following tips.
The number one cause of skin damage is sun exposure. Thus, the foundation recommends that a sunscreen contain no less than an SPF 15 for daily use, and no less than an SPF 30 for extended periods of sun exposure.
Sunscreen should contain UVA protection with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone or Mexoryl SX.
No sunscreen is totally waterproof. In 2002, the FDA mandated that manufacturers change their labels from waterproof to water resistant or very water resistant because no product can be truly waterproof.
Water resistant formulas protect against sun damage for 40 minutes while in the water, while very water resistant formulas protect for 80 minutes.
For the best protection, sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure because it can take up to half an hour to dry and become effective.
Adults should use approximately one ounce of sunscreen for full body protection, equal to about a palm-sized amount.
Some medications, as well as certain lotions, can increase sun’s sensitivity, so check labels and with a physician about such concerns.
Unless otherwise noted on the bottle, sunscreen is good for about three years from date of purchase.
For additional information visit the American Melanoma Foundation’s website at: http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/facts.htm