woman holding a bottle of sunscreen to protect her skin from burning

Sun protection may not be on your mind every time you venture outdoors, but your skin needs to be protected for your safety.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. When you pick up a bottle of sunscreen, you will find a SPF number on the package. These numbers range from two to 50. The numbers refer to the products ability to block out the sun’s burning rays. Dermatologists strongly recommend a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or greater for all skin types.

When should I use sunscreen?

Sunscreens should be used every day when you’re outside, not just during the summer. They can be applied under makeup and many cosmetic products also contain some type of sunscreen. Daily use of sunscreen is the primary means of protecting your skin from premature aging and skin cancer.

[tweetthis tweet=”Sunscreens should be used every day when you’re outside, not just during the summer.”]

Just because it may not be a bright, sunny day doesn’t mean you are less likely to burn. Eighty percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass through clouds. The sun also reflects on sand and snow, so wear sunscreen even if you are under an umbrella on the beach, or rolling around in the snow.

How often do I need to reapply sunscreen?

Sunscreen needs to be applied at least 15 minutes before going outside. Make sure that all areas exposed, including lips and ears, are covered. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

Read more about protecting your children’s skin in the sun.

To learn more about why sunscreen is important, click here.

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Diana Schweikhart, R.N., COHN-S

Diana Schweikhart is the director of occupational medicine, safety and health for UofL Physicians. Schweikhart worked at UofL Hospital for more than 26 years and has more than 22 years of experience in employee/occupational health. Schweikhart also worked as the interim manager for employee health over the KentuckyOne West Market. She developed and implemented many programs in regards to employee immunizations, education and safety. She graduated from UofL School of Nursing in 1989 and received certification as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist in 1995.

All posts by Diana Schweikhart, R.N., COHN-S
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