Know Your SPF

Whether you’re headed to the pool or just running daily errands, it’s smart to apply sunscreen before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy days. Don’t forget to apply it to all exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places such as your back.

Most sunscreen products work by absorbing, reflecting or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All products do not have the same ingredients. If your skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or check with your doctor.

Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen’s expiration date has a shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

Sunscreen wears off. Reapply it if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

-Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention