Practice sun-safe habits this summer
NEW YORK - As summer unofficially begins, The Skin Cancer Foundation is reminding consumers to stay sun-safe all through the summer. The Foundation recommends the following skin cancer prevention strategies, particularly relevant during the summer season:
• Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Do not burn.
• Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
• Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Use a broad spectrum (UVA/ UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a waterresistant, broad spectrum (UVA/ UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
• Apply 1 ounce ( 2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
• Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
• Examine your skin head-totoe every month.
• See your doctor every year for a professional skin exam.
Seek the Seal
When sunscreen shopping, look for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, which is awarded to sun protection products that meet our stringent criteria for safety and effectiveness. The Seal program was updated in 2011 to include ultraviolet A (UVA) protection requirements for sunscreens. Additionally, sunscreens are now categorized for “Daily Use” (products that protect from incidental sun exposure that occurs over short periods of time) and “Active” (products designed to protect consumers from extended sun exposure and during recreational activities such as outdoor sports). All companies with products displaying the Seal must incorporate the new requirements by May 2012. Until then, products may display either one of the new Seals or the traditional Seal.
Before awarding our Seal to a product, the Foundation’s volunteer
Photobiology Committee - dermatologists with specialized knowledge of how the sun affects skin - review the results of stringent photoprotection tests (all done on human subjects), which are submitted by all manufacturers applying for the Seal of Recommendation. The program also includes sun protection products such as hats, sunglasses, clothing, umbrellas and awnings, UV window film, UV laundry additives, and sunroof materials. More than 800 products now carry the Seal of Recommendation. For more information, visit www.SkinCancer.org.