Sun exposure is cumulative! Your skin is acquiring sun exposure the moment you leave the hospital nursery. Children are especially vulnerable to sun damage. Sun precautions beginning in early childhood are critical to preventing the skin damage that surfaces years later.
- Restrict direct light sunbathing
- Wear Sun-protective clothing in outside activities
- Avoid the “High Noon Hours” when possible
- Use Sun Screen EVERY day—cloudy or sunny
- For ‘color’ find a compatible bronzing agent
- NEVER use a tanning bed, it has UVA rays
Choose a sunscreen effective against UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deep into muscle tissue, while UVB (B for burn) affects only the surface layers of the skin causing redness and burning. UVB is our natural early warning sign protecting us from too much sun damage.
You can see how much UV your skin has accumulated in your lifetime by having a photo taken with the UV Reflective System. This is a real eye opener!
Remember, the SPF number only refers to the blocking capacity of UVB, not UVA. You must have knowledge of the ingredients to know the actual UVA protection in a sunscreen product. Look for micronized Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide rather than chemical sunscreen ingredients that may cause skin irritation. Avoid sprays; they contain chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled especially by a child.
The bottom line: If you are in the sun longer than 10 minutes during the day, you should wear sunscreen. Remember, if you are by a window or in a car, the sun will harm your skin.