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7 Sunscreen Facts You Might Not Know

7 Sunscreen Facts You Might Not Know

1. Sunscreen doesn't cover everything.

One place that's exposed to the sun's rays but can't be protected by sunscreen is your eyes. According to reports, 5 to 10 percent of skin cancer cases appear on the eyelids. While you can (carefully) attempt to apply sunscreen to your eyes, another great solution is sunglasses -- which can really protect your eyes. 

2. Don't Leave Your Sunscreen in the car

It happens, but doctors say the potency of your sunscreen can be diminished if you leave your sunscreen inside a hot vehicle. Sunscreen should be treated just like any other prescription medication, and kept away from extreme heat. If the sunscreen gets too hot there's a chance that preservative and active ingredients can be degraded and won't be as effective.

3. Sunscreen for your clothes

A new sun-protecting trend isn't something you put on your skin, but rather on your clothes. While clothing does provide an instant barrier from the sun, some fabrics aren't doing a whole lot to protect you from UV rays. Cotton fabrics only provide about an SPF 5 protection. However, there's a new product on the market called SunGuard that you add to a load of laundry just like detergent. The product adds a protective coating to your clothes that can block out harmful rays. And it's just $1.99 for a package that's good for one load and lasts for up to 20 washings.

4. Apply sunscreen everywhere!

One of the most common areas melanoma has been detected is between the toes, an area that most people don't put sunscreen on. Sunscreen should be applied to the scalp, ears, hands, feet, literally everywhere. You should even put sunscreen on your lips. They make special lip balms with extra SPF, so there's really no excuse not to. 

5. Alcohol can make your sunscreen less effective

According to doctors, drinking a lot of sugar or alcohol can cause inflammation in your skin, which will make your body release more free radicals. The sunlight also suppresses your immune system, so it's important to add more sunscreen to combat it. Another way to combat it -- make sure you switch out your sweet, fruity alcoholic beverage for water once in a while. 

6. Waterproof sunscreen doesn't exist

Applying sunscreen once and then spending an entire day in the ocean and on the beach is not going to cut it. Sunscreen should be re-applied every two hours of sun exposure in normal conditions. If you're in the water you should increase that to every 40 minutes. Products that claim "all day" protection and "waterproof" are misleading and not supported by the FDA. 

7. Are you wearing enough sunscreen?

Probably not. Sunscreen should be applied liberally. Most people only apply 25 percent to 50 percent of the recommended amount. You should use about one ounce -- enough to fill a shot glass -- on exposed areas of the body. If you're just using it on your face, you need a teaspoon's worth of at least SPF 30. 

 

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