camping, camping tips, family camping

Know Your Sunscreen Facts For Camping Safety

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There are all sorts of sunscreen facts and myths flying around out there...but the bottom line is a painful sunburn can quickly bring a fun outing to a screeching halt. Redness, blisters, pain....ouch!!! Sunscreen facts you probably don't want to experience! And living in Florida I know this quite well!

Thank goodness for sunscreen! Not only does sun protection protect you against a sunburn, but it also protects you from skin cancer, wrinkles, and premature skin aging! Practice good camping safety habits and protect your skin from the sun by covering up.

Let's talk about some sunscreen tips, including the best sunscreens, how to apply sunscreen, when to apply it, and a few other important sunscreen facts!

Did you know that any type of a suntan, whether dark or minimal, is a sign of skin damage? Many people think that you can just slap on some sunscreen in the morning and be set for the whole day...this is a sunscreen myth!!!

The Best Sunscreen You Can Use Blocks Both UVA and UVB Rays

Forget the myths...instead, here are some sunscreen facts...There are two different kinds of ultraviolet rays we are exposed to, UVA and UVB. The SPF rating only accounts for the UVB rays...but it is important to wear sunscreen that blocks both types of rays.

SPF and The Best Sunscreens

Sunscreens come in different levels of protection, called SPF or sun protection factor, which is indicated as a number. The higher the SPF, the more protection your skin gets from the sun. The sunscreen will not block all of the rays your skin gets, but the way it works is for the number of SPF you put on, you can stay in the sun ten times that many minutes...for example:

The SPF number lets you calculate how much longer you can stay in the sun with the sunscreen on without getting burned than how long you could stay out without getting burned without any sunscreen on. It is a little complicated....for example, if you start to get a sunburn after 10 minutes being in the sun, then by applying a sunscreen with SPF 15 you can stay in the sun for 150 minutes longer than you would be able to without using any SPF. You simply multiple the number of the SPF by the number of minutes (15 x 10) you can normally stay out in the sun without getting a sunburn to get the number of minutes you can stay out before your skin will burn.

Let's try still can stay out in the sun for 10 minutes when your skin is unprotected before starting to burn...but this time you apply SPF 30. So 10 minutes times SPF 30 gives you 300 minutes. You can stay out in the sun 300 minutes longer than your usual time without sunscreen before your skin will burn.

But remember...when you are camping you will probably be outdoors, doing outdoor activities either in the water or around your campsite most of the day, for several days!

Now, I think most people don't know exactly how long they can stay out in the sun before starting to burn...I sure don't! But I recognize the importance of sunscreen...and I always wear sunscreen...even when I am not camping.

So instead of worrying about multiplication and minutes, I just go with what my own dermatologist recommends.

Facial Sunscreen

Now these are some great sunscreen facts, straight from the expert own dermatologist! First of all, he recommends that I wear sunscreen daily, especially a facial sunscreen. His preference? Neutrogena sunscreen with an SPF of 70. This Neutrogena sunscreen is specially made for the face. It won't clog the pores, and is sweatproof and waterproof. The best part, aside from the SPF 70 protection, is that it doesn't go on heavy and greasy like sunscreens we are used is lightweight and smooth and feels more like a face cream than a sunscreen.

When putting sunscreen on your face, don't forget your lips as well. Many lipsticks or lip balms sold today contain SPF. For sunscreen for your lips, you should use a product with an SPF of at least 15.

The Importance of Sunscreen For The Body Too!

My dermatologist doesn't limit me to facial sunscreen. He tells me I need to wear sunscreen every day on any body parts that are exposed, making sure I cover my ears, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and legs. A great sunscreen for the body is No Ad sunscreen. The SPF 45 version is a Consumer Reports Best Buy recommendation. It is inexpensive and provides both UVA and UVB protection! We were surprised to find out our two favorites, Coppertone sunscreen and Banana Boat sunscreen, did not do as well for coverage of the UVB protection.

Forms of Sunscreen

You can buy sunscreen in many different forms, including:
  • Cream Sunscreen
  • Sunscreen Lotions
  • Sunscreen Sticks
  • Sunscreen Gels
  • Sunscreen Sprays
  • Sunscreen Towelettes or Sunscreen Wipes

In the sunscreen aisle you will also find oils...but keep in mind that the oils do not provide as much sun protection as the other forms. The sunscreen towelettes are convenient for camping, easy to keep on hand, easy to put in your backpack, and easy to put on!

Medication, Skin Sensitivity, and The Sun

Keep in mind that many different prescription medications that can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, or aggravate a sunburn or a rash you have. Some antidepressants, diuretics, antibiotics, antihistamines, and even birth control pills can cause increased sensitivity to the phone. Make sure you ask your pharmacist if your medications are among those that can cause you to react to the sun.

A Quick Overview of Our Sunscreen Facts

Remember the importance of sunscreen...and make sure you apply your sunscreen the correct way for the best protection possible...and to minimize premature skin aging and wrinkles!

Here is a quick summary of sunscreen facts below, but click for more indepth information on how to wear sunscreen properly.

  • Apply daily
  • Re-apply frequently, more often if swimming or sweating
  • Use a minimum of SPF15, SPF 30 is better, we like SPF 70 for the face
  • Use about 1 ounce per application

Some Recommended Sunscreen Products:

In addition to Neutrogena, here are some of the best sunscreens and sun blocks to protect your skin and lips, recommended by top skin care specialists: PopShops™ affiliate stores

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