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7 New Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

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For Increased Cancer Risks

3. Take it higher for days at the beach, the trail, the park, or the pool.

Most sunscreen brands are offering sky-high SPFs this year -- Neutrogena, Hawaiian Tropic, Aveeno, and Banana Boat, to name a few, boast SPF 70, SPF 80 or SPF 85. "There are new combinations of chemical sunscreens and finer, more concentrated versions of organic sunblocks such as zinc oxide that make it possible to get those high numbers without a pasty finish," says Sandra Read, MD, a clinical instructor in the department of dermatology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Keep in mind that, although a high SPF is great because it gives you more protection, its benefits don't last any longer than those of a lower SPF -- you still need to reapply it.

Protection suggestion: Make sure that your sunscreen offers broad-spectrum coverage, meaning it thwarts UVA and UVB rays (SPF measures only UVB protection). And reapply every two hours.

4. Lube up before hitting the road.

Driving may put you at an increased risk for skin cancer. Skeptics will be swayed by this little fact: People had more cancers on the left side of their bodies, and driving may be the reason, according to a 2007 study from Saint Louis University. What's more, they were often "slow-growing" skin cancers -- a clue that regular, long-term, cumulative sun exposure (which you'd get from daily driving) may be the cause. Although glass blocks UVB rays, it doesn't stop UVA. New cars are typically equipped with windshields that do block some UVA rays, but the side windows often still don't offer this protection.

Protection suggestion: Even if you applied sunscreen in the morning, reapply before you drive to do errands midday or head home. To make it easy to remember, stow a sample-size bottle of sunscreen in your car's cup holder or glove compartment, suggests New York City dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. We also like single-serve wipes like MDSkincare SPF 30 Sunscreen Packettes ($42 for 60 individual packets, sephora.com), or Shady Day Daily SPF 30 wipes ($14 for a pack of 15, ulta.com).

 

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