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During Summertime Look After your Health – Enjoy this vacation period without neglecting your health
By María José Zamora, M.D.

Take care of your skin and avoid sunburns! Sunscreens are chemical substances that block type A (UVA) and B (UVB) ultraviolet rays, the latter having the ability to cause sunburns and skin cancer, but both being extremely harmful for our skin.

What should we know about sunscreens? Which is the best type? We frequently ask ourselves this questions when purchasing a sunscreen but exactly what should we know to make our decision?

Here we give you a few suggestions:
1. A sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 absorbs over 92% of UVB radiation; one with an SPF of 30 will absorb over 97%.

2. Water-resistant: they keep their SPF levels for 40 minutes of water exposure.

3. Waterproof: they maintain their SPF levels for more than 80 minutes of being in the water (which is ideal if you enjoy taking lengthy dips in the ocean or pool)

4. Sweatproof: perfect for sports-lovers since they keep their effectiveness for over 80 minutes of playing.

5. Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

6. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure! Do not forget to apply it over the upper part of the ears and the back of the neck. Protect your lips too!

7. Reapply it every two hours or after being in the water.

8. Children 6-months old and younger must not be exposed to direct sunlight. With them the use of physical barriers, such as hats and umbrellas, is recommended over applying sunscreen.

9. What should not be done? Using sunscreen when your skin has already burned, applying it just a few minutes before going outside or in the water, using it over certain areas of your body only or applying it just once per day.

10. There is a formula with which you may calculate the protection time given by a certain sunscreen: for example, let’s say that you would normally turn red after 10 minutes of sun exposure and you are using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15. Multiply these numbers (10x15=150) and you will see that you’ll be protected for approximately 150 minutes.

Hydrate yourself!
Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, even when you’re not thirsty, adjusting it to the amount of physical activity and sun exposure. Every time you sweat increase your liquid intake in order to replace the losses. Also remember to hydrate your skin and hair with hydrating lotions and conditioners.

We will be happy to answer your health-related questions, please send them to: [email protected]

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