May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Newlywed SunscreenSpring has finally sprung and the sun is shining!  While we all enjoy the feeling of the warm sun on our faces, we also need to start applying SPF. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

Here are a few easy tips and suggestions to enjoy the summer season safely:

Everything You Need to Know About Sun Protection

With virtually hundreds of sun protection options available at your local drugstore or department store, there are several important ingredients one should look for when seeking full spectrum coverage and protection:

  • Micronized Zinc Oxide: For broad spectrum UV protection (including UVA rays). This also has soothing effects for skin irritations, and antimicrobial properties
  • Titanium Dioxide: An excellent absorber of sun rays (both UVA and UVAB rays), it provides long-term UV-protection and is water resistant

  • Niacin: This ingredient is clinically shown to visibly improve skin tone, texture and hyper-pigmentation

  • Vitamin E: Helps heal and protect the skin

Know Your SPF: It’s very important to use at least SPF 30 regardless of your skin type or color. According to Dr. Ostad, “sunscreens should be applied to exposed areas 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.” When using sunscreen, pay special attention to your face, ears, hands and arms, which are sometimes forgotten or not properly covered. One ounce, about the amount in a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the body properly – don’t skimp on your sunscreen!

Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D: Many people tout the sun’s ability to help our body absorb vitamin D. According to Dr. Ostad, “it is important to get 20 minutes of direct sun per day, which will allow our bodies to absorb the normal level of vitamin D needed.” You should be careful to avoid the sun during the hours of 10am – 3pm, when the sun is strongest.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of what ingredients and SPF to look for in your sunscreen, slather some on and go enjoy the great weather! Don’t forget about your new hubby (he can help you with hard to reach spots and you should make sure that he wears sunscreen too)!

Facts and suggestions provided by Dr. Ostad.  For more information on skin cancer and its treatment, please visit

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