everybody, spring is fast approaching and it's almost
time to think about protecting your skin over the
long, hot summer. We hear everyday that sunscreens
are important and that we should use them all the
time, whether we are skiing on sunny mountain slopes
or baking like cookies on a beach. But how does sunscreen
Sunshine contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a type
of powerful energy that can cause sunburns and even
cancer on unprotected skin. Sunscreens contain chemicals
that block out the UV. Some of these chemicals are
zinc oxide, and para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA. The
energy of sunlight is converted to heat energy when
it meets the sunscreen; instead of "sinking into"
your skin, it simply scatters off as it cools.
All suncreens come with a Sun Protection Factor, or
SPF. To learn how long a sunscreen will protect you
in the sun, multiply the SPF by the amount of time
it takes for you to start to burn. If you normally
get pink after 10 minutes in the hot sun, and you
wear a 10 SPF sunblock, you will be protected from
burning for 100 minutes.