Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine

The Sunscreen Gap: Why Black People Still Need SPF

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine
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Do Black people need sunscreen? Plug this question into Google and you get over 70 million results that all emphasize a resounding yes.

And yet the conversation of how necessary this preventive practice is has been disregarded — and sometimes by the Black community — for years.

Leah Donnella wrote for NPR’s ‘Code Switch,’ “I never really worried about protecting my skin from the sun. ‘Black don’t crack’ wasn’t a phrase I really heard a lot growing up. If anything, it was ‘black don’t burn.’”

However, this lack of awareness isn’t a myth that comes from the Black community itself. It starts with the medical community.

Historically, the field of medicine hasn’t given Black people adequate medical care, and the field of dermatology is no exception.

Dr. Chesahna Kindred, vice chair of the National Medical Association dermatology section, agrees that there’s a difference in attention given to Black skin within the practice.

She tells Healthline, “[A lot of the] funding and awareness [for research on the effect of the sun] typically excludes those with darker skin tones.”

And data backs up this disparity: A 2012 study found that 47 percent of dermatologists and dermatology residents admitted that they weren’t properly trained on skin conditions in Black people.

A 2014 study found that Black people were prescribed sunscreen after ER visits roughly 9 times less than their white counterparts.

Even in cases of pigment-related skin diseases where sun sensitivity is a concern, doctors still tell Black people to use sunscreen much less than their white counterparts.

Another study found that in the case of dyschromia, a skin pigmentation disorder, Black individuals were less ly to receive combination therapy compared to other skin types.

And to follow up with the research that both patients and physicians believe in sun immunity, 2011 research found that in comparison to white patients, dermatological clinicianswere often less suspicious about sun lesions and other causes for alarm in Black patients.

How did this sunscreen gap come about?

When it comes to skin cancer, decreasing the risk is just as important as decreasing the degree to which people die from it.

Research suggests that many patients and physicians believe that non-white people are “immune” to common skin cancers. They aren’t. This myth may have come from the statistic that the Black community has a lower incidence of skin cancer.

However, what’s left the conversation is: Black folks who do develop skin cancer may be more ly to receive a late-stage prognosis.


Squamous cell carcinoma is a common type of cancer that develops on skin that has received prolonged exposure to the sun. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, in the United States alone, there are about 700,000 new diagnosis each year.

Despite being the second most common skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is usually curable when caught early.

Although skin cancer is less prevalent in the black community than in the white population, when it does occur among people of color, it tends to be diagnosed at a later, and more advanced, stage.

Studies show that black people are four times more ly to be diagnosed with advanced stage melanoma and tend to succumb at a rate of 1.5 times more than white people with a similar diagnosis.

Another contributor to this statistic could be instances of acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), a type of melanoma commonly diagnosed in the black community.

It forms in areas not exposed to the sun: the palms of the hands, the soles of feet, and even underneath nails. Though not related to sun exposure, the areas where the cancer tends to form, no doubt has a hand in the often-delayed prognosis.

Dr. Candrice Heath, a board-certified dermatologist, wants her Black clients to know: “Get your skin checked, you are not immune to skin cancer. You don’t want to die from something that is preventable.”

“Black patients carry the burden of diseases that are sun sensitive”— Dr. Kindred

High blood pressure and lupus are two examples of diseases that are very over-represented in the Black community. Lupus directly increases the skin’s sensitivity to light, while certain medications and treatments for high blood pressure increase skin’s sensitivity to light. Both increase the risk of harmful UV damage.

Word of mouth myths: Is there “natural” sun protection?

We all know about the magic of melanin. According to Dr. Meena Singh of the Kansas Medical Clinic, “patients with darker skin tones have a natural SPF of 13” — but when it comes to the sun’s damaging effects, the power of melanin is hugely overstated.

For one, the natural SPF of 13 that some Black people have in their skin is a lot less than the daily use of a SPF 30 or higher that dermatologists recommend for sun protection.

Dr. Singh also adds that the melanin in darker skin can only “protect from some of that [UV] damage.” Melanin may not be able to protect the skin from UVA rays as well as it protects skin from UVB rays.

Melanin is also not consistent throughout the body

Another common concern related to sunscreen use is how it affects the body’s absorption of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency may be approximately twice as prevalent in the Black population as it is in the white population, and many people believe sunscreen exacerbates this.

Dr. Heath adds that this myth is unfounded.

“When it comes to vitamin D, even when you wear sunscreen, you are still getting an adequate amount of sunlight to aid with vitamin D conversion.” Sunscreen still lets in the good stuff — vitamin D from the sun — it just blocks the dangerous UV radiation.

Health education and product diversity can help bridge this gap

Fortunately, there’s a changing tide to make skin care more knowledgeable and inclusive for Black skin.

Dermatology organizations such as the Skin of Color Society are actively working to give research grants to dermatologists to study Black skin.

According to Dr. Singh, “There has been an enhanced focus on sun protection within the academic dermatology realm, as well as increasing specialized knowledge about treating skin of color, while also increasing the number of Black dermatologists.”

More companies are also becoming attuned to the needs of Black people.

As Dr. Kelly Cha, Michigan Medicine dermatologist, pointed out in a 2018 article, much of the advertising and packaging of sunscreen and sun protection has been geared toward non-Black people.

That marketing strategy may have helped increase the idea that sun care wasn’t important in the Black community.

“Mineral-based sunscreens can leave a white film on darker skin,” Dr. Singh says, “which often can be seen as cosmetically unacceptable.”

The ashy result also signals that the product was created with the intention of being applied on paler skin, which can blend in easier with white casts.

Now companies such as Black Girl Sunscreen and Bolden Sunscreen are changing the landscape and making sun care more accessible — designed with darker skin in mind. These brands specifically focus on creating sunscreens that don’t cast ashy shadows.

“Skin care lines now understand that products that are branded specifically toward black customers are not only lucrative, but also well-received,” says Dr. Singh.

“[With] the advent of social media [and] more of an emphasis on self-care, patients themselves are helping to advocate for these products.”

Health disparities in the Black community are well-known. From the pregnancy inequalities that have plagued Black women, including high-profile women Serena Williams, to the high proportion of obesity in the Black community highlighted by women Michelle Obama.

We shouldn’t leave sun protection and awareness these conversations, especially when it comes to preventing squamous cell carcinoma. Sunscreen is helps keep the melanin magical and the skin healthy.

Tiffany Onyejiaka is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University where she majored in public health, Africana studies, and natural sciences.

Tiffany is interested in writing and exploring the way health and society connect, particularly with how health affects this country’s most disempowered populations.

She’s passionate about increasing health awareness and education for people from all different demographics.]


Why Men Should Care About Their Skincare, Too

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine

When we say “skincare,” what first pops into your mind? If it’s an image of a woman standing at her sink applying layers of creams, oils, and serums to her face, you’re not alone. For far too long, skin care has been thought of as a woman-only part of life. 

But the truth it, men should care about their skincare, too. Here’s why. 

Why men should care about their skincare 

For starters, men have skin—and that skin deserves to be taken care of. It may seem an overly obvious point, but sometimes we need a reminder! Men’s skin is just as susceptible to toxins, sun damage, and premature aging.

In fact, men might even be at higher risk for certain skin issues. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, of all the invasive cases of skin cancer in America per year, 57,220 will be men and only 39,260 will be women.


Why is this? It appears mean are neglecting their sunscreen duties much more often than women. In fact, the results of a Harvard Survey showed that “15% of men, compared with 30% of women, said they regularly used sunscreen on both the face and other exposed areas, such as the back, arms, and legs.” 

Pretty shocking, right? 

A man’s skin is slightly different in texture than a woman’s, so it also has specific needs. As Dr.

Brian Zelickson, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, told Harper’s Bazaar, “Men’s skin is about 25% thicker with more collagen, more and larger hair follicles and more sebum production, all of which is mostly due to increased testosterone production.

These structural differences make men’s skin less sensitive and able to handle stronger ingredients. However, it also makes them a bit more acne-prone…” 

The take-home? Men can benefit from a skincare routine tailored towards their specific needs. 

How men can start caring for their skin 

If you’re a man who wants to start looking out for their skin health, establishing a simple but effective skincare routine is the best place to start. You’ll want to focus on protecting your skin from the sun and environmental damage and moisturizing without creating more oil; therefore, a gentle cleanser, a serum, and a daily SPF are the perfect place to start. 

“They [men] don’t need heavy cream-based products,” said Dr. Zelickson, which is why a light, water-based, antioxidant-rich serum is a good option for moisturizing and protecting the skin from sun damage and environmental toxins and premature aging. Men can also benefit from an eye cream, which will reduce dark circles and any redness or puffiness around the eyes. 

And then, of course, there’s sunscreen. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “For day-to-day use, pick a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.

” And if you spend a lot of time outdoors, choose one with SPF 60 of even higher.

The experts at Hopkins also recommend looking for a product that is water-resistant and broad-spectrum and applying it 15 minutes before you leave the house. And don’t forget the back of your neck and ears! 

So there you have it—more than enough good reasons to start caring about your skincare if you’re a man. So whether it’s a 10 step skincare routine or a 1-step lather sunscreen on your face morning routine, don’t forget that your skin deserves a little TLC as much as anyone’s. 


From our collaborators at Johns Hopkins Medicine International | Steps for preventing melanoma

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Posted September 12, 2016By Lisa Jacobs, MD

The sun is one of the staples of the Caribbean. It feels nice and warm against your skin, but too much exposure can result in more than a healthy glow.

Overexposure to the sun can lead to melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

According to the Bermuda National Tumour Registry, in 2012, Bermudians developed melanoma at a rate 6% higher than Americans.

Melanoma is a tumor that forms in the cells that give colour to the skin. For most people, it starts as a new mole, or it may be an old mole that changes. To determine if a mole could be a melanoma, look out for the ABCD signs:

A – Asymmetry: The mole is not round, or if you cut it in half, the two sides would not match.

B – Border: The border is irregular and difficult to define.

C – Colour: The mole is black or brown, or there is an uneven distribution of colour.

D – Diameter: A mole that increases in size may be suspicious.

Cancerous moles may vary in appearance. If you find one with some of these characteristics, you should see a doctor. If left untreated, melanoma can spread quickly to the lungs, the liver or the brain. Although people with fair skin are more at risk, everyone should take the necessary steps to prevent the dangerous consequences of sun overexposure.

Step 1: Avoid sunburns at all costs

The consequences of sun exposure can be seen over time. According to the U.S.

 Skin Cancer Foundation, one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

The risk also doubles if someone has had five or more sunburns at any age. Tanning beds are also the question. Studies have shown that indoor tanning increases a person’s risk of getting skin cancer.

Protection from the sun can be achieved by using sunscreen, limiting exposure and covering your skin with clothing — wearing a wide-brimmed hat covering your face and ears, and lightweight, long-sleeve clothes.

Step 2: Remember to apply and reapply sunscreen

In general, sunscreens have ultraviolet light protection and block the sun’s dangerous rays. Sunscreens with a 30 SPF (sun protection factor) provide adequate sun protection.

However, for the sunscreen to be effective, you need to apply it liberally before you go out in the sun. If you see your skin turning red or if you are getting a tan, you did not apply it correctly or did not use enough.

It is crucial to reapply sunscreen every two hours, and reapply after swimming or if you are perspiring after sports or exercise.

Step 3: Follow the early morning/late afternoon rule

The best times of the day to not get a sunburn are in the early morning and late afternoon. So avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., since these are the hours with the highest risk of sun exposure. You are still subject to ultraviolet light radiation on cloudy days and should use sun protection.

Step 4: Check yourself

A head-to-toe self-examination is the only way to find if you have any new or pre-existing moles that may show the ABCD signs. If you spot a suspicious skin lesion, talk to your doctor. If found and removed early, skin cancer may be curable.

Content courtesy of Lisa Jacobs, M.D., associate professor of surgery and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The content was reproduced with permission of the office of Marketing and Communications for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. Additional reuse and reprinting is not allowed.

The information aims to educate readers and is not a substitute for consultation with a physician.


SPF in Cosmetics Protection –

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine

At this point we all know how necessary it is for our health to wear sunscreen daily.

Nevertheless, even though we “know” that we should wear sunscreen, how often do we tend to forget it? It’s an extra step in our daily routine and we don’t always prioritize it.

An obvious solution for people who wear make-up is use products that already contain SPF in them. However, how effective are these cosmetics against UV damage, and do they really replace everyday sunscreen use?

Does it Work?

One of the first questions that comes up when thinking about SPF in our makeup is, “Does it even work?” It feels that more and often when cosmetics are involved the statements on the packaging tend to be nothing more than marketing. Though in this case it would be highly unly that a company would claim their product had SPF if it didn’t contain some form of it.

SPF is a universal standard and should be tested the same way regardless if it is in a sunscreen, foundation, or any other form. British Association of Dermatology confirms this stating, “SPF used in moisturizers are tested the same way as sunscreens, so an SPF 15 moisturizer should provide an SPF of 15”

The SPF numbers have a pretty specific meaning and are not just arbitrarily assigned even though it feels that at times, (SPF 100…).

During testing, a group of individuals is first exposed to UV until they begin to burn, recording the amount of UV rays it took. Then the same test is preformed, but with the sunscreen on, still measuring the UVs.

Then the “with sunscreen” number is divided by the “without sunscreen” number, and the result is rounded down to the nearest five. Confused yet?

The bottom line is if the bottle says SPF 10, it works as SPF 10 should work.

Is it Enough?

Great, so we know that the SPF works! All good right? Well, now we should probably investigate how effective it is. We’ve discussed the importance of the ingredients in your sunscreen that block UVA1, UVA2, and UVB, (check out EWG’s guide). These rules should also apply to SPF in your makeup, meaning you need to read the ingredients labels.

Moreover, in order to receive proper SPF coverage on your face, you would need to apply quite a bit. “To achieve the SPF on the label, you would have to apply about 2 mg of product per square centimeter of skin, or a dollop about the size of a nickel to {just} the face,” says Sonia Batra, M.D., a dermatologist. Do you really put that much foundation or concealer on? Probably not.

Another thing to consider is how durable is it? Does your foundation wear off quickly? When wearing moisturizer with SPF do you reapply the cream? You can always test this by putting the makeup or moisturizer on your Smartsun UV indicator and see how long it lasts. Dermatologist Justine Hextall notes, “These formulas are less ly to be rub-resistant and water resistant, and most importantly are ly to be applied a lot more thinly than sunscreen. They therefore are unly to offer the same level of protection.”

In short, the SPF in makeup is effective if used properly, but not truly practical.

Should I wear it?

Most dermatologists agree that an extra layer of SPF is never a bad thing. However, it is important that we don’t just rely on the SPF in cosmetics alone, otherwise we might end up with a bad burn.

It is also still good to look for make-up that does contain SPF in it.

As noted above, SPF layers will help protect you, and considering that we touch our faces to often, rubbing it over, the more layers the better.

Prior to putting on foundation, it is best to apply a good layer of sunscreen, let it soak in, then apply the rest of your make-up as normal. Also keep a bottle of sunscreen with you, so you can reapply as often as your UV indicators shows.


ACS, 2019. “How Do I Protect Myself from Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?” American Cancer Society. [Online] Available at: [LINK]

BAD, 2019. “Sunscreen Fact Sheet” British Association of Dermatologists. [Online] Available at: [LINK]

Grabel, A. 2018. “Making Your Sunscreen Work with Your Makeup” Skin Cancer Foundation. [Online] Available at: [LINK]

Lien-Lun Chien, M.D., A., 2019. ”Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine” John Hopkins Medicine. [Online] Available at: [LINK]

Pearl, E., 2017. “The Truth About SPF in Cosmetics” Huffington Post. [Online] Available at: [LINK]

Rusbosin, M., 2018. “The Truth About Makeup With SPF” Women’s Health.  [Online] Available at: [LINK]

Young, S., 2018. “SPF IN MAKEUP ISN’T ENOUGH TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN, EXPERTS WARN” The Independent. [Online] Available at: [LINK]


Sunscreens may enter bloodstream, but health effect unknown, study finds

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Several active ingredients in popular sunscreens are absorbed into the body rather than just sitting on the skin, a new government study finds.

In a Food and Drug Administration experiment, researchers determined that far higher levels of these ingredients are absorbed into people’s systems than the amount considered benign enough to avoid safety testing — in some cases, as much as 40 times higher than the threshold amount, according to the study published in JAMA.

At present, no one knows whether the chemicals tested by the FDA are harmful when there is systemic exposure, the researchers noted. Their study included a request to manufacturers to study the safety of the chemicals.

The four ingredients in question are avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule.

The FDA recently said that the four chemicals needed to be researched by manufacturers before they were considered generally safe and effective.

“Just because they are absorbed doesn’t mean they are unsafe,” said study coauthor Dr. Theresa Michele, director of the division of nonprescription drug products at the FDA. “That’s why we are asking for additional data.”

The new study isn’t the first to suggest that sunscreen ingredients might find their way into the body from the skin. There have been reports of these chemicals being found in breast milk.

While waiting for studies to be done on the chemicals in question, Michele recommends that people continue to protect their skin from the sun. The active ingredients in sunscreens protect the skin by reflecting, absorbing, and/or scattering ultraviolet radiation.

“These products are used to prevent skin cancer,” Michele said. “It’s very important from a public health perspective that people use them, especially as skin cancer rates are increasing. Right now, we know that there are benefits from these products and we don’t know if there are any harms.”

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Michele also encourages that people use other methods in addition to sunscreen to protect their skin from sun exposure. People “need to use sunscreen with other sun protecting measures, such as wearing protective clothing and sunglasses and staying the sun at peak hours,” she said.

Before the new study, no one knew the level of systemic exposure resulting from sunscreen use. To address that question, Michele and her colleagues recruited 24 healthy volunteers who were randomly assigned to receive one of four sunscreens, which included two sprays, one lotion and one cream.

The volunteers were asked to slather the sunscreen on all parts of the body that would not be covered by a swimsuit four times a day for four days, a regimen that reflects the instructions on sunscreen labels. Over a period of seven days, 30 blood samples were collected from each volunteer.

In order for sunscreen companies to avoid safety testing of the chemicals in their products, no more than 0.5 ng/mL of the active ingredients can be absorbed into the body.

When the researchers analyzed the amount of these chemicals in the blood samples, they found all at higher levels than that threshold.

The biggest difference was for oxybenzone, which was found to exceed 20ng/mL on day seven of the study.

Because no one knows how systemic absorption of the active ingredients in sunscreen might affect health, experts weren’t sure how to counsel patients who might be worried about their impact.

“All four of the sunscreens in all formulations were absorbed at higher levels than the threshold,” said Dr. Emily Newsom, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “At this point, we’re not sure what that means.”

What we do know is that UV rays damage the skin and the risk of skin cancer is higher without sunscreen, Newsom said. “So sunscreen should still be used given the epidemic of UV-related skin cancer,” she said. “Our concern is that the public will hear this and stop protecting their skin from sun damage.”

Just because these chemicals have been shown to be absorbed into the body doesn’t mean they are causing harm, according to Elizabeth Platz, a professor, and Dr. Martin D. Abeloff, a scholar in cancer prevention and the deputy chair of the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

That’s why there’s been a call for studies that will investigate the impact of the chemicals when they are absorbed systemically, Platz said.

In a statement in response to the study, the American Academy of Dermatology noted that the sunscreen ingredients in question “have been used for several decades without any reported internal side effects in humans.”

“Importantly, the study authors conclude that individuals should not refrain from the use of sunscreen, which the AAD encourages as one component of a comprehensive sun protection plan as sunscreen use has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer in a number of scientific studies,” AAD President Dr. President George J. Hruza said in a statement.

The organization of dermatologists acknowledged that the science on sunscreen is evolving and left the door open for more research and possible guideline changes in the future.

“The AAD’s sun protection recommendations are the existing body of scientific evidence and current FDA regulations and guidelines; these recommendations will continue to evolve as the science develops and the FDA issues new regulations,” Hruza said.

For those who find the new information worrisome, Platz suggests switching to other ways of protecting skin from sun damage. Certain sun-blocking chemicals — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — have been deemed safe by the FDA, Platz notes. The downside of these products is that they can leave a white-ish film on the skin, she said.

Beyond that, people can avoid UV exposure by wearing protective clothing, staying in the shade and remaining indoors during peak hours, Platz said.


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Sun Exposure: Avoiding Sunburn and Sun Damaged Skin

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine

From the WebMD Archives

Getting through the summer will involve sunscreen — lots and lots of it. But as you smear it onto your kids, you may have some qualms. What is really in this stuff? Is it safe? Are there chemicals or toxins you should be concerned about?

The Environmental Working Group and other organizations do have concerns with some sunscreen ingredients — especially oxybenzone. “It seems to be able to penetrate the skin and may have some hormone- activity in the body,” Lunder says.

Some doctors and medical organizations disagree. “I recommend sunscreens with oxybenzone whole-heartedly,” says Kate Puttgen, MD, a pediatric dermatologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. “I haven’t seen any data that suggest the miniscule amount of absorption causes any risks.” The American Academy of Dermatology continues to recommend sunscreens with oxybenzone.

If you're worried about chemical exposure, there is some common ground: both sides agree that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sunscreens are safe and effective. They’re also ideal for young children and people with sensitive skin. Although these sunscreens used to have a reputation for leaving a chalky film, new formulations are micronized so that they’re barely visible.

What else should you know about using sunscreen?

  • Check the SPF for UVB protection. The SPF number indicates how well a sunscreen protects against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. If you’d normally get a sunburn in 10 minutes, an SPF 15 extends that by 15 times. So you could last 150 minutes before burning. How high an SPF do you need? Puttgen recommends SPF 30 or higher.
  • Look for UVA protection. The SPF doesn’t tell the whole story – it only refers to protection against UVB rays. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays pose their own risks. So make sure the label on your sunscreen states that it has UVA, broad spectrum, or multi-spectrum protection.
  • Look for water resistance. Keep in mind that these products are not water-proof. They will still wear off. But they will last longer than typical sunscreens.
  • Reapply regularly. A few dabs in the morning will not last the whole day. Follow the directions on the bottle for reapplying – especially after you’ve been sweating or in the water.
  • Not all sunscreens work as well as they should. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreen products and concluded that 4 5 either contained chemicals that could potentially pose health hazards or didn't adequately protect skin from the sun's damaging rays. You can find the results of their findings and learn which sunscreens are best by visiting Skin Deep, the EWG's cosmetic safety database.

Still, sunscreen isn’t enough. There are other precautions that you and your kids should take during the summer.

  • Wear broad-brimmed hats. Don’t forget to be a good model to your kids. If you keep your hat on, your kids might be more ly to do the same.
  • Keep sunscreen and lip balms in your car, in your purse, everywhere. You never know when you’ll need it.
  • Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the tighter the weave and the darker the color of a garment, the higher the SPF protection.
  • Avoid sun exposure, especially during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest. But remember that invisible rays can reflect up toward you from the ground, so you may still need protection even in shade.
  • Check the UV Index at the EPA web site (search for “sunwise”) when planning outdoor activities.
  • Be aware of reflective surfaces (water, cement, and sand), as they increase your chances of getting a sunburn.
  • You can still get too much sun on a cloudy or hazy day. UV rays are strong enough to burn your skin even on cloudy days.
  • Rinse off when you come indoors or at the end of the day.
  • A child’s delicate skin, if left unprotected and exposed to the sun’s harshest rays, can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes, but it can take up to 12 hours for skin to show the full effect of sun exposure. So, if your child's skin looks “a little pink” today, it may be burned tomorrow morning. To prevent further burning, get your child the sun.
  • Wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes. Sun rays can also damage your eyes, potentially causing cataracts and vision loss as you age.


Sonya Lunder, MPH, senior analyst, Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C.

Kate Puttgen, MD, pediatric dermatologist, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, MD.

American Academy of Dermatology web site, “Facts about Sunscreens.”

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