By Dr. Jay Trussler
If you had a tan 200 years ago, you were likely of a “lower class” socioeconomic status. Having a tan meant you had to make ends meet by performing manual labor, often farming. With the advent of air travel, having a tan became associated with the rich, for only they could afford the tickets to those luxurious vacation spots. Many still equate a tan with beauty and health, but nothing could be further from the truth.
UVA is the type of radiation responsible for AGING our skin, leading to wrinkles and “old-age spots.” UVA can penetrate the window glass of your home or car. UVB is the type of radiation responsible for BURNING our skin, but it cannot penetrate window glass. Both UVA and UVB can lead to skin cancer.
Choose a BROAD-SPECTRUM sunscreen which will protect you from BOTH UVA and UVB because you don’t want to get burned but you also don’t want to one day look like a grandpa after he just rolled around in slightly cooked cookie dough.
Sun-Protection Factor: Choose SPF-30 or SPF-50, which will block all but 1/30th or 1/50th respectively of harmful UVB rays. This equates to the blocking of 97%-98% of those rays.
There is water-resistant, but waterproof does not exist, so you need to reapply every two hours. A lot of people make the mistake of using sunscreen sprays. To use them correctly you need to saturate the skin while the kid holds their breath (some are not safe to inhale) and then rub it in. Also remember that sprays are flammable, so spraying little Robert near the July 4th BBQ grill will turn him into Shish-Ka-Bobby. Best thing to do with that bottle is to throw it at that 60-year-old man who is not European nor a triathlete but keeps wearing undersized speedos to the waterpark.