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5 weird questions answered about sunscreen

Plenty of people have misconceptions about sunscreen , but not applying it correctly could be just as bad as not wearing it at all. Here are five common questions people have about SPF.

1.  Do I put it on inside or outdoors?
Ideally, you should be applying sunscreen about 15 minutes before going out in the sun, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If you go straight into the sun without putting on lotion, you could be putting yourself at a greater risk for sunburn. 

2.  Should I put SPF under my swimsuit?
When you're putting on an SPF that's appropriate for your skin type, make sure you rub it all over your entire body. Get underneath your swimsuit because it can move while you're swimming around. Nothing worse than a burnt behind! Work the sunscreen behind your ears, all over your face, the tops of your feet and hands and your neck. Don't try to put it on your back by yourself, it'll be too difficult to get the entire surface. Ask a friend for help with hard-to-reach places.

3.  What about my scalp and under my hair?
Yes, even the skin under your hair is susceptible to the sun's powerful UVA and UVB rays. Spray sunscreen over the place where your hair is parted and over any other bald areas of your head. A bad sunburn on your head can hurt and be difficult to soothe with aloe since your mane might get in the way. Buy a chapstick that has SPF in it so you can protect your lips as well.

4. Do I need it if I never burn? If it's cloudy?
All people need sunscreen – always. Even if you've never had a sunburn in your life, applying an SPF is used for so much more. It prevents your skin from aging and developing wrinkles. It also reduces your risk of getting skin cancer, which is a leading cause of death in the country. Don't be fooled into thinking you don't need SPF just because you don't get burned. Even if the sun isn't shining bright, you still need to put on sunscreen because the rays can travel through the clouds. 

5.  I've heard nothing over SPF 30 works, is this true?
This isn't entirely accurate. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF 15 takes care of UVB protection. It filters out about 93 percent of UVB rays, which is a decent chunk but it's not all of them. SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of them. So while you're off to a great start in your skin care if you apply SPF 15, you can improve it by using a higher one. When it comes to preventing skin cancer and wrinkles, a higher SPF that offers slightly more protection can make all the difference.

Share these answers with your friends and family the next time someone has a doubt about sunscreen safety. Fort Worth pool service professionals support healthy pool habits.