Exposing yourself to the sun's rays without protection poses some health risks because the UV rays can damage the skin and cause sunburns and skin cancer. Find out how to use sunscreens properly.

Sun protection refers to protecting our skin from the side effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays.
The rays from the sun can cause sunburns that can seriously damage the skin, causing wrinkles and skin cancer.

The ultraviolet rays can cause both types of melanoma cancers. This is why protection is necessary.
The best way to prevent sunburns is by limiting the time you spend in the sunlight. The sun's rays from 11 AM to 3 PM are the most powerful.

If you go out during these hours make sure you protect your body by wearing:

- a hat that keeps shade on your face
- a shirt that covers your arms
- pants that cover your legs
- and always wear sunscreen to block UV rays

Sunscreens come in a variety of forms from lotions to sprays.

sun tan

The SPF you see on the sunscreens is an abbreviation for sun protection factor. The number written next to the SPF indicates for how long the sunscreen will protect your skin.

If you multiply the SPF number with how long it takes for you to get a sunburn without any protection you can determine for how long the sunscreen will be effective on you.

Sunscreens should be applied half an hour before exposing yourself to the sun and reapplied every 2 hours while in the sun.
It is recommended that you use a sunscreen that protects you from both ultraviolet rays, UVA as well as UVB.

The best sunscreens are the ones that use zinc oxide or octocyclene because they are very effective in blocking UV radiation. Remember to apply the sunscreen all over your body and reapply every 2 hours to keep the protection level up.