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Let's all be sun smart this summer

June 15, 2017

After enduring a long cold, grey and wet winter and spring, the sun is finally here and that means we’ll want to take advantage of those golden rays by spending our days outside having fun. While being outside and soaking up the sun can be beneficial in numerous ways, it’s important to also think about protecting your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately skin cancer rates are rising in British Columbia, but the good news is it’s also one of the most preventable cancers. So, let’s be careful out there by following these tips from the BC Cancer Agency and Canadian Cancer Society:

The sun is at its strongest between 11 am and 3 pm, so be especially careful during this time frame. 

  • Use sunglasses that block both ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays, to protect your eyes. For winter sports, be sure to protect your eyes with goggles.
  • When possible, wear a hat to further protect your eyes, and your head.
  • And don’t forget the sunscreen:
    • Your sunscreen should have a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 and should be labelled "broad-spectrum". 
    • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside. If you happen to forget and head out, apply it as soon as possible.
    • Apply enough to leave your skin white - it will soak in. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you are spending time in or on the water, or if you are sweating from physical activity. 
    • As a general rule of thumb, when applying sunscreen from head to toe, use a shot glass-sized amount – about two tablespoons. It can be broken down this way: use a half teaspoon for each part of your body – so half a teaspoon for your face and another half for your left leg, for example. 
    • To protect your lips, use lipstick or SPF 30 lip balm. 

If you are particularly sensitive, check the UV Index daily and prepare yourself accordingly.

For more information on sun safety, visit the BC Cancer Agency’s website here, or the Canadian Cancer Society’s website here. Global News breaks down additional Sun Safety tips in a story here. For a CBC article about choosing sunscreen for your kids, click here.