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Some Facts About Sunscreen

   By: James Hunt

When many of us were growing up, it was common practice to lay out in the sun for an entire afternoon in an attempt to get as brown as possible. Aiding in this task were sun lotions and oils. Beaches and backyards were filled with bronzed people unwilling to go through life with pale skin hidden from the sun. Even though that wasn't so long ago, times have certainly changed. Now that melanoma is a big issue, we're lectured about safeguarding our skin against the sun's rays by wearing protective clothing, hats and sunscreen.

Sunscreen is an important staple and should be implemented into a person's daily regimen. If applied on a daily basis before you leave the house, even during the winter, your skin will look much younger and your chances of contracting skin cancer will lower dramatically.

In order to work properly, it should be applied liberally to all exposed parts of the body. Studies have shown that most people don't apply an adequate amount of sunscreen, so don't be afraid to slather it on.

When shopping for sunscreen, be sure to choose the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that is right for you. It all depends on your skin type and how quickly you burn. For instance with an SPF 20, you can stay out in the sun twenty times longer than you would if your skin wasn't protected. SPF 2 through 12 offers the minimum protection available, SPF 12 through 30 offers moderate protection and SPF 30 is the maximum protection offered.

If you're going spend the day in the sun, a sunscreen with the maximum SPF your skin can tolerate should be liberally applied about 30 minutes prior to exposure. It should also be periodically re-applied as the day progresses, at least every hour or so or after swimming.

Sunscreens do lose their ability to protect. If you have sunscreen in your cabinet more than three years old, you should throw it away. Hopefully it's not sitting around that long unused. Make sunscreen a part of your daily grooming routine. Your skin will thank you.

James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest. Read more at

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