WINNIPEG – Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is no longer good enough to properly protect you from the sun.
That’s according to the Canadian Cancer Society, which has updated its recommendations to keep you safe from harmful sun rays. It’s the first time in 20 years there has been a nation-wide consensus on sun protection.
One of the updates – you should use a sunscreen with a minimum skin protection factor (SFP) of 30, instead of the previously recommended 15. SPF 15 blocks out 93 per cent of UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 per cent.
Another update shortens the window of when the sun rays are strongest. It used to be 11 am to 4 pm. They have shortened it to 11 am to 3 pm. That’s the time of day the sun’s rays are strongest and the UV index is highest.
The Cancer Society also recommends you never use an indoor tanning bed.
– Check the UV index. When it is 3 (moderate) or higher, be extra careful. Between April and September, it can still reach three when it’s cloudy between 11 am and 3 pm.
– Make sure your sunscreen is labelled “broad-spectrum” and “water resistant”.
– Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of sunscreen to cover your body and one teaspoon on your face and neck.
– Put on sunscreen before applying makeup or mosquito repellent.
– Use a lip balm with SPF.
– Find shade when you are outside. But if you can see the sky, that means UV rays can reach you by reflecting off surrounding surfaces.
– Clothing provides better protection than sunscreen.
– Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Most skin cancers happen on the face and neck.
– Wear close-fitting sunglass with UVB or UBA protection – label could read UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
– Know the signs of skin cancer. Most can be cured if caught early enough.
Find out more at the Cancer Society’s website.