Short of never going outside, it’s hard to avoid the sun. Even on a cloudy day, there are UVA and UVB rays reaching you. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, but it’s also preventable. With the right sunscreen and proper use, your mom can protect her skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Sunscreen comes in gels, sprays, lotions, or powders. Applied correctly, it helps form a film on the skin that protects against both types of damaging sun rays. To make sure you’re getting the right kind of sunscreen, there are things you should be looking for.
1 – Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen is Best
Broad-spectrum sunscreen offers protection against UVA1, UVA2, and UVB rays. Do not buy sunscreen if it doesn’t clearly state it offers broad-spectrum protection. Zinc oxide is the only ingredient that offers full protection against all three types and is the ingredient to watch for.
Most sunscreens have a mix of protective agents. The common ones include titanium dioxide and octocrylene protect against UVB and UVA1. Octisalate and octinoxate protect against UVB rays, while avobenzone protects against UVA1. Oxybenzone protects against UVB and UVB2. Look for a mix that protects against all three.
2 – Aim for a High SPF
The sun protection factor (SPF) is also important. Don’t get a sunscreen if it doesn’t have an SPF of at least 30. Anything with 30 SPF keeps about 97 percent of the rays from reaching the skin when properly applied. A higher SPF is always best.
3 – A Higher SPF Doesn’t Mean You Can Reapply It Less Often
There’s a common misconception that if you have a 30 SPF, you can reapply it half as often as you would a 15 SPF. This is wrong. The SPF is about the percentage of rays blocked by the product. All sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours or after getting out of water or sweating heavily. Sunscreen should be applied around half an hour before heading outside.
4 – Apply the Right Amount of Sunscreen
You shouldn’t be going for a thin layer of sunscreen. Apply a liberal amount. It may feel oily or sticky, but if you don’t apply enough, you’re damaging your skin. Make sure you get every area. You want sunscreen on your eyelids, ears, nose, and area between the eyes.
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that a person in a bathing suit should be applying a full ounce of sunscreen. If you wear protective clothing, you may be able to reduce the amount, but the general rule of thumb is one full ounce.
Will Your Mom Remember to Stay Safe?
It’s hard to remember certain things as you age. If your mom is unlikely to remember to apply sunscreen or come in from the sun while gardening, it may be time to have a caregiver helping out. Home care services can help balance activities to keep your mom safe. A caregiver can remind her to come in and drink water or help her reapply sunscreen. Call a home care agency to learn more.
If you or a family member are in need of Senior Care in Boca Raton, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.