With the summertime finally in our sights, we all need to take a long hard look at how we manage the extended periods of sun exposure. Put simply: do you use a sunscreen — and is it an effective sunscreen?
Sunscreens come in lots of forms, but the Food and Drug Administration recently warned the consumers to steer clear of one formula in particular: so-called sunscreen pills, as reported earlier this week by Time Health.
In their recent announcement, FDA calls out several companies that are currently putting people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security. The companies claimed that their dietary “sunscreen” supplements could:
- prevent sunburn;
- reduce early skin aging caused by the sun;
- protect from the risks of skin cancer.
Don’t fall for this scam! No supplement can protect you from the sun. To ensure adequate protection, follow the tried and tested strategies. According to the FDA’s general guidelines for sunscreen use, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging by:
- Limiting your time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.);
- Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun (long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brim hats);
- Using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF value of 15 or higher regularly and as directed.
Sunscreens with proven effectiveness are available in forms of lotions, creams, sticks, gels, oils, butters, pastes, and sprays. Regardless of the form, make sure that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
As reminded by the FDA guidelines, no sunscreen blocks 100% of UV radiation, so other protective measures are needed in any case — wearing protective clothing and sunglasses, and staying in the shade as much as possible. Remember that up to 80% of the UV rays can get through the clouds, so grayish weather is by no means a reason not to wear your sunscreen.
At all times, exercise caution when exposed to the sun; melanoma skin cancer cases continue to rise globally, and the vast majority of melanomas (up to 86%!) can be attributed to exposure to UV radiation.
That’s right: ultraviolet radiation is a proven human carcinogen. So stay safe — and share this information with others!