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Tips for a Skin Safe Summer

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Summer provides a perfect opportunity to get a healthy dose of the sunshine vitamin that many of us need. At the same time, we are mindful of the damaging effects of the sun's UV rays we have heard so much about over the years. We look for tips that make applying sunscreen easier and more fun for kids while not always wearing it ourselves.  
Last summer the FDA unveiled new rules related to sunscreen claims to help reduce consumer confusion about UV protection and claims related to being waterproof or sweatproof. The new rules would have gone into effect June 17, 2012 were it not for an FDA issued delay last month that provided a six-month extension.
With all the confusion regarding when and how the guidelines will change, it can be difficult to know how to protect your skin against the sun at the beach or during outdoor workouts. Here are some useful tips to help you have a skin safe summer.

For more than 30 years, The Skin Cancer Foundation has provided helpful information so people can develop a complete sun protection regimen. Here are several of their recommendations.
  • Limit sun activities in favor of the shade between the peak sun hours of 10 AM and 4 PM if possible.

  • Wear sunscreen regularly with an SPF of 15 or higher applying it 30 minutes before going outside using at least one ounce (two tablespoons) and reapplying every two hours and after swimming and excessive sweating during exercise.

  • Cover up with lightweight clothing (sun protective when possible) including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.

  • Avoid burning, keep newborns and babies up to six months of age (who shouldn't use sunscreen) out of the sun, and avoid tanning and UV tanning salons.
When selecting sun protective products such as sunscreen, cosmetics, sunglasses or clothing, look for the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation for assistance.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization working to use the "power of public information to protect public health and the environment." To that end, they have compiled information to help consumers make the best choices for their skin including sunscreen. When selecting sunscreen, EWG recommends sunscreen containing either zinc or titanium. They also suggest avoiding products that contain ozybenzone or vitamin A as well as limiting use of those in spray or powder form. Considering a Massachusetts man recently caught fire after applying a spray type sunscreen, it is good advice to pay attention to more than just the price.
With a little label reading, consumers can find safe and effective sunscreen options. Here are several of the top 2012 beach and sport sunscreens recommended by the EWG that are also supported by The Skin Foundation.
  • Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock SPF 30 either Kids Mineral Protection

  • Aveeno Baby Natural Protection  Mineral Block Face Stick SPF 50+

  • Coopertone Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

  • Coopertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream SPF 40

  • MD Solarsciences Mineral Screen Gel SPF 30+ and lotion SPF 40+ which are noted to be good during activity
Here are five additional articles to help you have healthy skin this summer.
Sun Protection Tips for Healthy Skin
Summer Skin Savers – A Guide to 5 Summer Skincare Problems
The Basics of Skin Care – 4 Steps to Flawless Skin
Sensitive Skin Solutions – Itching for a Way to Resolve Your Skin Problems?
An Exerciser's Guide to Skin Care – Can Workouts Cause Breakouts?

Do you have good sun protection habits? What area needs work? Will you be searching out a different sunscreen?