When the weather heats up and the sun shines longer, we must wear sunscreen to protect our skin.  Too much sun can lead to sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer.  According to experts, If we were to look at sunburned skin under an intense microscope, we would be able to see that the cells and blood vessels have been damaged. We all know we should take sunscreen to the beach, the pool, or the park, but did you know that it is just as important to include sunscreen in your skincare routine even when your plans don’t involve going outside?

Repeated sun damage makes the skin look dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery.  The best way to avoid damaged skin is by always wearing sunscreen. We should apply it to our skin every day. Many moisturizers contain sunscreen. Make it a habit, as we do with brushing our teeth.  

Also, when buying sunscreen, focus on the SPF number.  SPF stands for sun protection factor. This tells us how well the product will protect us from UVB, the sun's burning rays.  The higher the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. We should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If we have had skin cancer or precancer, we should use sunscreen with an even higher SPF. Many of the new sunscreens have SPFs of 45 or higher.  

According to the Cleveland Clinic, sunscreens are safe for children over six months, and if used regularly in childhood, they can prevent skin cancers from developing in later life. Recently, a researcher reported that if sunscreens were used regularly by children through the age of 18, there would be a 72% reduction in the cases of skin cancer later in life.  So remember, the best way to stay safe during summer and all year is to wear sunscreen daily.

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