Memorial Day weekend has passed and you know what that means: The unofficial start of summer. Summer vacations, day trips to the beach, weekends at the cabin and unfortunately, sunburn. Here are some ways to be safe in the sun. 

Did you know than one blistering sunburn in your life can drastically increase your risk of melanoma? Melanoma is the most serious of all skin cancers, so it’s important to cover up during walks, runs, swims, rolls and rides. Here are just a few myths about the sun and sunburn and how to properly protect yourself.

A Base Tan Prevents Sunburn

The truth is that tanning doesn’t really do anything except brown your skin. According to experts at the American Cancer Society, sun damage occurs at the cellular level and sun exposure actually changes the makeup of your skin cells which can mutate and cause skin cancer. The best way to prevent sunburn is to use a broad spectrum or multi spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. If you’d like a little color, use a tinted moisturizer.

You Don’t Need Sunscreen In The Morning

Did you know that the sun is at its most powerful from 10am to 4pm? The more damaging UVB rays are the highest between April and October, but UVA rays are present any time it’s light outside. Even early in the morning. Maral Skelsey, MD, director of the Dermatologic Surgery Center in Washington, DC, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology says that UVA rays get deep into the skin and are also a contributing factor in wrinkles, sun damage and skin cancer, so it’s best to use sunscreen on your face and hands and any exposed skin.

I Wear SPF 70 So I’m Covered

That’s only partially correct. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, so you are protected, but according to the Skin Cancer Foundation SPF 15 protects against 93 percent of harmful rays, SPF 30 protects against 97 percent and SPF 50 protects against 98 percent of harmful rays. Dermotologists say that sun blocks that are labeled as “broad spectrum” and “multi-spectrum” are just as or more important than the SPF number. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a sun block with an SPF of at least 15.

Water Resistant Equals Water Proof

You’re headed to the beach or the pool, so you slather on the water resistant sun block so you don’t need to reapply. You’re good, right? Wrong. It’s water resistant, so it will take longer to come off in the water, but it still comes off, so you do have to reapply. Every two hours is best.

Dark skin can burn, kids need more protection than adults, the truth about that mole and more sun safety is available by clicking HERE.