With summer and blue skies upon us, it’s time we all head to the beach and enjoy those long days in the Florida sun. The goal for many is to achieve that beautiful bronze tan, but we tend to neglect how important it is to take care of our skin in the process. To feel your best and keep your body healthy, now and in the future, find a sunscreen that works for you. Don’t worry, using sunscreen won’t leave you ghostly pale, but will rather help to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays … and you won’t look like a lobster.

The Facts:

Sunburn is the reddening of the skin caused by overexposure to sun.

There are a variety of factors that affect how well you are protected from the sun. Sunscreen can be washed off by sweat and water and needs to be reapplied every two hours or so.

About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

SPF, or sun protection factor, is the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burned. It only takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to turn red. Theoretically, SPF 15 will prevent reddening 15 times longer.

Don’t be fooled by high SPFs. Users tend to believe that slathering on a higher SPF will protect them more, and they stay in the sun longer without reapplying, leading to burns.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying 1oz. of sunscreen to your entire body at least 30 minutes before going outside.

If it’s cloudy outside, you still are receiving 40 percent of the sun’s UV rays.

Protecting your skin will lessen your risk of wrinkles, sagging, leathering and discoloration.

Some top sunscreen brands to look out for when buying sunscreens are Neutrogena, Coppertone or Banana Boat.

For more information, check out:

http://www.skincancer.org/

http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/