May 2011

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live in good health Beyond When choosing a sunscreen there’s no shortage of options, but that doesn’t mean they were all created equal. The American Academy of Dermatology offers these cues for deciphering sunscreen labels the Label Look for: Broad-spectrum or UVA and UVB protection The sun emits two types of rays: Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which cause skin to age, and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns. Sunscreen should say “broad-spectrum,” meaning it protects against both rays to help prevent skin cancer. Look for: SPF 30 or greater The sun protection factor (SPF) is a nifty little way of comparing how long it takes unprotected versus sunscreen- protected skin to burn. If a person reddens after 10 unprotected minutes of sun, SPF 30 will protect them 30 times longer, or five hours. Even so, dermatologists recommend you lather on a new coat every two hours. Look for: Water-resistant or waterproof During scorching summer days, sweat can remove sunscreen from your skin. Buy water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen to ensure longer-lasting protection. But that is still no guaran- tee, be sure you apply it frequently, especially after you take a dip or dry off with a towel. Look for: The right formula Sunscreens come in a range of for- mulas, all meant to target different areas of the skin. Here are few quick guidelines: Try creams for faces and dry skin, gels on hairy areas like the scalp, sprays on children (for quick and easy application), and wax sticks for the sensitive area around the eyes. 12 BRAVA Magazine May 2011 Illustration by Kristin Joiner

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