Skin cancer is caused by exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB, from sunlight. Avoiding direct exposure to sunlight is the most effective way of preventing skin cancer, but of course, there are times when that just isn’t practical.
Sunscreen is the most important product available to help block ultraviolet light for those times when we have to be in the sun. Three important factors to consider with sunscreen use are:
The sun gives off three types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation based on the wavelength. All UV rays cause skin cancer!
How to pick the proper sunscreen
The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures the amount of UVB absorption (there is no method of reporting the UVA absorption). The only way to determine if a sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB radiation is to look at the label. Look for:
Applying Sunscreen Properly
The most common mistake people make when using sunscreen is not using enough and not applying frequently:
Sunscreen should be applied daily, all year round. The sun’s rays reflect off surfaces such as snow, sand and even concrete, so whether you are at the beach, skiing in the mountains or walking down the street, you need to protect you skin from exposure to UV radiation.