Sunscreen 101: FDA tips

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Even if you never go to the beach or lie out in the sun, you should still apply sunblock every day to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, spending time in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To reduce this risk, consumers should regularly use sun protection measures including:

  • Use Broad Spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed

  • Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, more often if you're sweating or jumping in and out of the water.

  • Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun's rays are most intense.

  • Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun; for example, long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats

See Sun Safety: Save Your Skin!3 for additional information on sun protection, including tips for applying sunscreen.

In June 2011 FDA announced significant changes to sunscreen products that will help consumers decide how to buy and use sunscreen, and allow them to more effectively protect themselves and their families from sun-induced damage. For more information about these changes, see Questions and Answers4 and FDA Regulatory Action on Sunscreen.

More info on sunscreen here.