As this year's swimming season approaches, ICA reminds the general population of its recommendations for sunsmart behavior:
S - Seek shade U - You should wear a wide-brimmed hat N - Never go out without your sunglasses
S - See to wearing the proper clothing M - Make sure you go outdoors when it is safe A - Apply sunscreen lotion R - Remember to apply an additional layer of sunscreen after coming out of the water T - Take plenty of liquids with you and avoid dehydration
The proper use of sunscreen may reduce the damage caused by uncontrolled exposure to the sun, and may specifically prevent the risks of developing burns, skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
Even if we use the ideal protective sunscreen, some of the sun's UV rays may penetrate our skin and cause damage; even under a beach parasol the sun's rays may be reflected off sand and/or water at the beach or at the swimming pool.
This is why sunscreen lotion should be regarded as an important protective measure, albeit not the most important one, and all the other protection guidelines that appear above must be strictly followed.
Additionally, it is crucial that sunscreen lotions be used properly and effectively.
The ICA recommends adopting the "10 Commandments" for the proper use of sunscreen:
1. The first coat of sunscreen should be applied at least half an hour before going out in the sun. It is recommended to use enough sunscreen and apply a double coat to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing.
2. Make sure to apply sunscreen lotion to skin that is not protected by clothing (such as: ears, neck, palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and other exposed parts of the body).
3. Reapply a coat of sunscreen every two hours, as well as after swimming, bathing in the water, perspiring, or drying the skin with a towel. It is recommended to use a water-resistant sunscreen.
4. Sunscreen should not be applied to wounded/irritated skin or to sensitive skin. It is recommended to use an appropriate sunscreen after consulting with a dermatologist.
5. It is recommended to use an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 sunscreen or a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating. Sunscreens with SPF ratings exceeding SPF 30 are recommended for those at high risk of developing skin cancer. Sunscreens with an SPF rating higher than 50 did not provide any further significant advantage over others with a lower rating in terms of skin protection.
6. Babies under 6 months old should not be exposed to direct sunlight. It is recommended to use Total Block sunscreen on babies over the age of 6 months.
7. Sunscreen must be applied to children with adult supervision.
8. In order to achieve complete protection that the product offers, a sufficient amount of sunscreen should be applied.
9. Most of the sunscreen products do not have an expiry date, as their shelf life exceeds 30 months. The Pharmacologic Products Dept. at the Ministry of Health indicates that it is important to pay attention to the "Period After Opening" labelling which indicates the useful lifetime of a product after its package has been opened for the first time. The labeling appears on the product with an open jar symbol indicating the number of months. This is a duration notation - indicating that it is best used before the number of months specified.
10. In order to protect the sunscreen product and its effectiveness, it should not be stored in a closed place or subjected to extreme temperatures, such as a parked car. It is recommended to take sunscreen with you everywhere.
Please note! The proper use of these products may reduce the damage caused due to unprotected exposure to the sun's rays, and particularly the risk of burn, however, in any case, additional protective measures should be used, and one should not suffice with application of sunscreen, which constitutes the last line of defense against the sun's harmful effects.
Wishing you a healthy and safe summer!