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Sun safety tips for keeping skin healthy all summer

“Americans young and old spend countless hours in the sun year round and may not realize the importance of wearing a good sunscreen daily,” said Julie McKenzie, Wal-Mart’s buyer of skincare products. “Whether playing with the kids in the backyard, walking the dog, or taking an extended car trip, protecting your skin from damaging rays year round is critical.”

As the prevalence of skin cancer is on the rise in the United States, McKenzie offers the following tips to ensure Americans are educated when it comes to skincare safety:

• Use sunscreen every day and reapply often, especially after perspiring, swimming, or drying off with a towel. Many Americans forget to reapply sunscreen as necessary.

• Always apply lotion prior to heading outdoors, even during the cooler months of the year.

• For adequate sun protection, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Sun Safety Alliance recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen year round with an SPF of at least 14. They also recommend an SPF of 30 for children.

• Follow the directions on the bottle and apply liberally and evenly over all areas of the body, while taking care not to miss the neck, ears, and lips.

• To fully protect against harmful rays, always wear sunscreen, UV blocking sunglasses, tightly woven clothing like long-sleeved shirts and pants, and wide-brimmed hats.

• If possible, avoid the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

• Look for products that measure UVB radiation like SunSpots. These stickers are worn on skin exposed to sunlight and turn from yellow to orange when exposed to dangerous levels of UVB radiation. This will alert the user to reapply sunscreen, seek shade, or put on protective clothing.

• If being tan is an absolute must, consider using a sunless tanner. Local discount retailers sell sunscreens, products that measure UVB radiation, and protective clothing, which includes long-sleeved t-shirts, wide-brimmed straw hats, and inexpensive UV-blocking sunglasses, year round.

— Courtesy of ARA Content

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