The sun’s out, your toes are nestled in the sand, an icy cocktail is in hand, and your shades are on. What’s missing? Sunscreen! I know you’ve heard it all before—slather it on before you head out into the sun, wear it even on cloudy days, and so on. But Dr. Justin Piasecki, founder of Skin Cancer Center, shares some other tips you probably haven’t heard of that could help reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.
- Makeup with SPF is not a substitute for sunscreen—it’s about 14 times less effective and 1/3 of skin cancers occur above the neck.
- “Broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” sunscreens are the best since they provide protection from every form of light.
- There’s no “good SPF number,” but a minimum of 30 is recommended by most.
- Studies have shown that red foods, particularly tomatoes and apples, help reduce the risk of sunburn.
- Start fresh each summer with a new bottle of sunscreen. The shelf life of sunscreen is shortened if it’s exposed to high temperatures (like lying in the sand while you frolic at the beach).
- Increase clothing SPF by using laundry additives like Sun Guard. One packet washes SPF 30 into every garments…lasting up to 20 washes.
- Don’t miss your scalp! Mist you scalp, and your hairline, with a spray sunscreen.
- If you do manage to get sunburned, take an anti-inflammatory medication, like Aspirin or Ibuprofen, until it’s gone.
Image source: Tom Jolliffe via Wikimedia Commons