Sunblock: Why We Need it and What to Look For.

Going to the pool or doing yard work this summer? Maybe you’re just planning on a road trip with the top down, or you’re taking your dog for an afternoon stroll. Whatever it is you’re doing, don’t start without your sunscreen. Nobody likes a nasty sunburn, but there are more reasons to use sunblock than just to prevent sunburn. Here are some reasons why sunblock is important to your health: 
Prevents Skin Cancer - Did you know that skin cancer is the number one cancer for Americans? One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. The good news is, skin cancer is very preventable. Sunblock was created to protect us from harmful UVA rays, which are linked to causing skin cancer. 
Slows Down the Appearance of Aging – Absorbing UVA rays through the skin can also cause pre-mature wrinkles and leathery skin. Sunblock reduces this absorption by blocking these harmful rays. Keep using sunblock and you will be thankful when your lifelong friends are asking how your skin looks so young. 
Keeps Skin Looking Healthy - Sunblock helps even out skin tone and prevents blotchy skin discolorations. Facial red veins can also be a result of exposing unprotected skin to the sun, making sunblock that much more necessary for keeping your skin the way you like: healthy.  
 
Preventing sunburn is a significant reason for wearing sunblock, but it does so much more by protecting us from the more slowly harmful effects of the sun – effects we don’t notice until much later.
To better help you know what to look for when buying sunblock and how to use it, here are some helpful tips:
SPF 15 or above - Did you know SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor? Keep that in mind when you’re looking for SPF. When the bottle says SPF 15, it blocks 93 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. When it says SPF 30, it blocks out 97 percent; SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing with SPF 100 – no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays. 
Get Broad Spectrum Sunblock - These block both UVA and UVB rays. Remember, UVA causes cancer, wrinkles and sunspots; UVB rays cause sunburn. 
Sunblock Expires - Sunblocks are designed to last about three years – anything beyond that should be tossed and replaced.  
Sunblock Amount - It is recommended that you use a tablespoon of sunblock for your face and a shot glass amount for your body. It’s important to cover all exposed areas, including tops of feet and ears.  
 
New Mexico offers some of the best sunshine in the whole country, making it easy to go outside and enjoy some fun physical activities. Just remember, when the sun is beating on us with its rays, think of sunblock the way you would running shoes, sunglasses, and a cell phone: don’t leave home without it! 

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