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10 Skin Cancer Mistakes Even Smart Women Make

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10. Shade Protection

The Mistake: You skip the sunscreen because you sit under an umbrella with a T-shirt over your suit.

Shade doesn't totally protect you. "Sand and water reflect the sun's rays -- probably as much as 50 to 90 percent, depending on the angle of the sun and how close you are to the water," says Dr. DeLeo. That's enough to turn your skin a light shade of lobster, especially if you sit outside for several hours.

As for the wet T-shirt, it's not going to win you any contests in this case; it will offer approximately the equivalent of SPF 3, according to Dr. Rigel. In other words, put on sunscreen or reinforce your tee. You can give your clothes an SPF of 30 with a new product called SunGuard, which contains a chemical that blocks UV light. Just add a package to your laundry; one application will provide you with protection for up to 20 washings.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July 2006.

 

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