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Sunscreen 101: Top tips from CCS

27 May 2019

Did you know that if more Canadians practised sun safety, we could prevent about 12,000 melanoma cases over the next 20 or so years? Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and putting on sunscreen is an important step to help reduce your risk.

This month we’re sharing our top five tips for choosing and applying sunscreen the right way.

  1. Use an SPF of 30 or higher
    Sunscreens are rated by the strength of their sun protection factor, or SPF. A sunscreen’s SPF tells you its ability to screen or block out the sun’s UVB rays. SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB rays. Sunscreen with SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays.
  2. Look for broad spectrum and water-resistant on the label
    Broad spectrum offers both UVA and UVB protection. Water-resistant means that the product stays on better in water.
  3. Apply a generous amount
    Spread evenly. The average adult needs about 2 or 3 tablespoons of sunscreen to cover their body and a teaspoon to cover their face and neck. This is about the size of a golf ball to cover your body every time.
  4. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours
    A higher SPF doesn’t mean that you can wait before reapplying. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after swimming, sweating or toweling off – water-resistant sunscreen only works for 40 or 80 minutes, depending on the label.
  5. Apply sunscreen on cloudy days and during the winter months
    Whatever the weather or season, UV rays are always there! Even if you can’t see the sun, UV rays can pass through the clouds. And in the winter, the sun’s rays reflect off the bright surface of the snow. Use sunscreen on any skin that clothing doesn’t cover.

Remember, use sunscreen along with shade, clothing and hats, not instead of them. For more information on sun safety, visit cancer.ca.

Looking for a new recipe to bring along to a picnic? Use our tips to stay safe in the sun and check out this spring roll recipe filled with tons of delicious ingredients.