Most asked Questions
Do tanning salons use UVA or UVB rays or something else?
Tanning salons and beds use UVA sunlamps that are 10-12 x stronger than the natural sun. As a result, people who use tanning salons are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. And scarily, "indoor tanning" before age 30 can increase melanoma risk by as much as 75%.
How much sun is safe, if I am using sunscreen?
It is advisable to understand the length of time it would take for your particular skin type to burn. This may be a measurement your doctor can help you with. For example, if you use a sunscreen with an SPF 15, you can be in the sun 15 times longer that you can without sunscreen before burning. You should always follow the instructions on your sunscreen, re-apply every 90 minutes to two hours and after any sport or other activity or water exposure.
I wear sunscreen outdoors but not usually in the car. Is this safe?
It's best to wear sunscreen even when you are in a car as UVA rays go right through glass. Doctors frequently see sun damage (such as dark spots) on the left-hand side of patient's faces as they have received significant sun exposure while driving. (Happens in offices as well if you have a window or corner office!) Think about keeping an immediate-use sunscreen (like Sunforgettable) in the car for instant, mess-free application. And note that some sunscreens (chemical ones in particular) use formulations that cannot withstand heat buildup in the car, so when using that type, make sure to keep it in safe, dark & cool places and replace frequently to ensure that the sunscreen is fully protective.
The family loves skiing and snowboarding. But isn't most of the redness caused by windburn?
Most of the redness is more likely to be caused by UVB rays. When skiing, at the beach or on a lake, you actually receive a double exposure, as over 80% of the sun's rays bounce back up to your face and neck. So you receive both the direct exposure coming down from the sun and a secondary exposure from the same rays as they bounce back up. Sun protection is critical near reflective environments such as concrete, snow, water and ice.
I've heard many times that 80% of sun exposure happens before 18 so I do make my kids wear sunscreen but figure I'm already beyond hope, so why bother?
Actually, that fact, which we agree is quoted frequently, is utterly wrong. The truth is that only about 23 % of lifetime exposure occurs before age 18. Plus, a significant amount of visible aging is due to UV light exposure. If you don't want leathery skin and to look old before you need to, think daily sun protection in your makeup. And to protect your skin from the development of skin cancers, which one in 5 adults will experience, you should use a UVA/UVB protective sunscreen daily.