Friday, April 25, 2008

Where is the Sunscreen?

After frantically trying to find the sunscreen this morning (without much luck) I thought I'd do a little research and answer a few of my sunscreen questions...

  • Can I use last years bottle of sunscreen? Each brand and type of sunscreen will have a different shelf life. Most brands are effective for at least 2 years. Many brands have an expiration date printed on the label or bottle. If you do not see an expiration date, check for a manufacturers code. The last numbers on the code represent the expiration date.
  • Should I look for UVA or UVB protection? Choose a sunscreen which provides both UVA and UVB protection.
  • When should I apply my sunscreen? For best protection, sunscreen should be applied about 30 minutes before going into the sun. Don't be like me and apply it as you're going out the door!
  • How much do I need to apply? The most frequent reason for sunscreen not working properly is that not enough was applied. Apply more than you think you need and rub it in!
  • How often should I apply my sunscreen? Reapply every few hours.
  • How do I protect myself in the water? Choose a waterproof sunscreen and reapply it after swimming. Remember that many public swimming pools require that you shower before entering the pool. This will remove much of your sunscreen.
  • How can I protect my baby? Pediatricians usually recommend keeping baby out of the sun and not using sunscreen until your baby is 6 months old. After 6 months, choose a product which is chemical free and contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These 2 ingredients and not absorbed into the skin and sit on top of it forming a physical barrier of protection. These "physical" sunscreens begin to work as soon as they are applied unlike the chemical varieties which take about 30 minutes to become effective.
Here are some of SuperMomz Favorites. Remember to always be safe in the sun.