Sun Safety and Sunscreen Usage Tips
Summer is all about fun in the sun! Splashing in the pool, hanging out with friends, grilling burgers and simply enjoying a more relaxed vibe defines the season. But with all the time spent outdoors and in the swimming pool, it’s important for water lovers to protect their skin. Aquaman Pools shares some sun safety tips and proper sunscreen usage and application tips courtesy of the American Cancer Society (ACS):
Not to put a damper on swim time but prolong sun exposure can be dangerous. Ultraviolet rays from the sun (and things like time spent in tanning beds) are the No. 1 cause of skin cancer… not to mention sunburn and premature aging. So to avoid these things, be smart in the sun! Of course starting a day at the pool with a generous application of sunscreen is vital. According to the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires labels on sunscreens to follow specific guidelines. The ACS says it important to choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreens “protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays, the main cause of sunburn. But UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Only products that pass a test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.”
When it comes to SPF, the ACS states: “The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. For example, SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 filters out about 97%. SPF 50 blocks about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. No sunscreen protects you completely. The FDA requires any sunscreen with an SPF below 15 to carry a warning that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
It’s also important for swimmers to note that water resistant to understand that does not mean their sunscreen is waterproof or sweat-proof. Sunscreens that are labeled water resistance last up to 40 minutes or 80 minutes (the label should specify this). Regardless, sunscreen should be reapplied generously every two hours, at least, and more often if in and out of the water and after toweling off.
In addition to using sunscreen generously and often (daily, even when not hitting the pool or the beach!), sun lovers should do their best to avoid the sun for prolonged periods between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, should seek shade during a day poolside, and cover up with light, breathable materials, a hat and sunglasses that block UV light.
The Aquaman Pools’ team encourages swimmers to have fun in the sun this summer — but safely! No one wants to end up looking like a lobster and feeling the “burn” after a day splashing in the pool. And to keep that pool sparkling clean, remember to call the experts at Aquaman Pools!