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Skin and the sun

The first sunscreen mistake is not wearing any. But even those of us with the best intentions can make mistakes when it comes to sunscreen. David J. Leffell, M.D., professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine listed six of the most common mistakes.

  • Using the same bottle for the past three summers: the protection won't be effective.
  • Counting on the SPF (Skin Protection Factor) in your makeup: largely insufficient.
  • Using only a dab of cream: you have to cover all your skin surface.
  • Putting the sunscreen on only at the beginning of the day: sunscreen is efficient only for two hours.
  • Counting on waterproof sunscreen: it does not exist, FDA rules no longer even allows the word to be used on sunscreen bottles.
  • The higher SPF, the better: An SPF of 30, when applied correctly, will block out 96% of the sunburn-causing UVB rays from the sun, SPF 50 blocks 98%.

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