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Summer is a great time to have fun outdoors. It’s also a time to take precautions to avoid sunburns, which can increase your risk of skin cancer. Most sunscreens today protect against UVA and UVB radiation. Sunscreens contain materials that act as a filter to allow a certain range of UV light to be absorbed into the skin.

Sun blocks contain metallic materials that reflect and scatter the UV light and acts as a wall between the sun and your skin. Sun blocks contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. When looking for sunscreens and sun blocks look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide ingredient when choosing.


Clip art of sunshine.


  • Be careful about sun exposure at all times, but especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun.
  • Use a palm full of sunscreen (about 1 ounce) to cover your legs, neck, and face including your ears. Reapply after swimming, sweating or at least every 2 hours. Use lip block also.
  • Use face lotions (and makeup) containing sunscreens with at least SPF 15.
  • When using insect repellents, apply sunscreen first. Do not use a combination product, because sunscreen needs to be applied more than repellent.
  • Topical antioxidants applied to you skin can help prevent some sun damage. Look for products containing antioxidants with green tea, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C and retinol, a vitamin A derivative.
  • Before going out, check the UV Index. The daily forecast include the UV index in the weather reports which rates the intensity of the UV rays expected daily.
  • Use special caution anytime the UV Index is 5 or higher.
  • Do remember that no sunscreen is going to stop all rays from penetrating your skin. Skin cancer comes from accumulated sunlight exposure, not sunburns, limiting your time is the safest way to reduce your risk of skin cancer.


©2007 St. James Catholic Church, Hopewell, VA