Sunburn Prevention

Sunscreens may act either:

  • Chemically: absorb a specific portion of the spectrum thus preventing harmful rays from hitting the skins surface. Most sunscreens contain combinations of 2 or 3 of chemicals to prevent sunburn.
  • Physically: provide a physical barrier to UV radiation and scatter or reflect the harmful rays.
    • Examples: Zinc oxide, red petrolatum. Titanium dioxide.
    • DONT FORGET: Hats, long sleeve shirts, and long lightweight pants.


  • Cover all exposed areas evenly and liberally. Figure 1 oz per adult application in a swimsuit.
  • Optimally apply 30 minutes BEFORE sun exposure for penetration and binding.
  • Water resistant: the formula retains SPF after 40 minutes of activity in water, sweating or perspiring.
  • VERY Water resistant: the formula retains SPF after 80 minutes of activity in water, sweating or perspiring.
  • An SPF of at least 15 is recommended for most people by the Skin Cancer Foundation. HOWEVER...
  • Products with SPF over 30 only block UVB slightly more than those of SPF=30. The higher concentration of chemicals increases potential for adverse effects, such as skin rashes. An SPF of 30 blocks 97% of the UVB rays. An SPF of 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays.
  • By bumping the SPF from 15 to 30, it may offer an extra margin of safety to consumers who do not apply a sunscreen as frequently as indicated.
  • We don’t recommend sunscreen/bug repellant combos, because the sunscreen needs to be applied more frequently than insect repellant.

Sunlight Resistant Clothing

  • Provides partial protection. A typical summer shirt has an SPF of 5 to 9.
  • Baseball caps leave the ears, neck and lower face unprotected.
  • Any summer outfit should include sunglasses, to prevent cataracts.

Tips for Sunburn Prevention:

  • Avoid long term exposure during peak hours (10am-4pm)
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure
  • Sunglasses: make sure they are UV protected. With dark glasses, pupil dilates allowing more harmful UV rays to damage retina.