AZ Skin Cancer Foundation Logo superimposed over a photograph of Antler Canyon.

Protect Your Skin:

Understanding the Importance of Sunscreen and Its Various Forms

Sunscreen isn’t just a beach-day essential; it’s a year-round necessity for maintaining healthy skin. Whether you’re soaking up the sun while on vacation or going about your daily routine, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial. This week, the Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation visited FBC to share some of their knowledge and expertise about using sunscreen and other forms of sun protection to prevent skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in Arizona and the United States.

Poolside scene with various pool items such as flip flops, hat, and sunblock.

The Importance of Sunscreen

  1. Protects against UV Damage: Overexposure to UV rays from the sun can cause various skin issues, including sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Sunscreens contains special FDA-approved filters that absorb and sometimes reflect UV radiation, preventing it from damaging DNA or causing mutations that can lead to skin cancer.
  2. Prevent Premature Aging: Exposure to UV radiation also accelerates the aging process, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. By consistently using sunscreen and other forms of sun protection, you can help maintain youthful-looking skin and delay the onset of premature signs of aging.
  3. Lowers Skin Cancer Risk: Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer globally, with UV exposure being the number one risk factor. Applying sunscreen reduces your risk of developing skin cancer by protecting your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation.

Not All Sunscreen is Created Equal

Use these tips to choose an effective product:

  1. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) or 30 or
  2. Make sure the product is labeled “broad spectrum.” This means that the product protects against UVB and UVA radiation – both types cause skin cancer.
  3. Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes or according to the product label if you are outdoors

Types of Sunscreen

  1. Lotion: Lotions are what most people imagine when the think of “sunscreen.” Lotions are a popular choice for many people due to their ease of application and versatility. Lotions and all types of sunscreen formulations contain either physical UV filters (also called mineral or inorganic), chemical UV filters (also called organic) or a combination of physical and chemical UV filters that work together to provide protection.
  2. Sprays: Sunscreen sprays offer a convenient alternative to lotions, making them ideal for on-the-go application. However, it’s essential to apply sprays generously and evenly to ensure adequate coverage, as it can be easy to miss spots when spraying.
Image of several variations of sunscreen.

3. Sticks: Sunscreen sticks are compact and portable, making them perfect for targeting specific areas such as the face, ears, and lips. They offer precise application and are less likely to run or drip, making them an excellent choice for outdoor activities.

4.Powders: Sunscreen powders are a newer addition to the market, offering a lightweight and mattifying alternative to traditional formulations. These powders are often infused with minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, providing broad-spectrum protection while also absorbing excess oil and reducing shine.

5. Tinted Sunscreens: Tinted sunscreens combine the benefits of sun protection with light coverage, making them a popular choice for those looking to streamline their skincare routine. These products offer the added benefit of evening out skin tone and providing a subtle glow while protecting against UV damage.

Investing in quality sunscreen and incorporating it into your daily skincare routine is essential for maintaining healthy and youthful-looking skin. Sunscreen doesn’t need to be expensive, sticky, or greasy! Whether you prefer lotions, sprays, sticks, powders, or tinted formulations, there’s a sunscreen option to suit every preference and lifestyle. By prioritizing sun protection, you can enjoy the sun safely and reduce your risk of sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. So, don’t forget to slather on that sunblock before stepping out into the sun, and your skin will thank you for it in the long run.

Photo of AZ Skin Cancer Foundation team members doing sharing with FBC members the importance of sun protection.
Photo of AZ Skin Cancer Foundation team members doing sharing with FBC members the importance of sun protection.
Photo of AZ Skin Cancer Foundation team members doing sharing with FBC members the importance of sun protection.

Thank you again to Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation for taking to the time to visit FBC and share there knowledge with us!

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