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Sophie Fan

Sunscreen proves beneficial as summer approaches

May is the last full month of school before students will get to bask in the sunlight and freedom of summer. Less famously, it’s also Skin Cancer Awareness Month. For both reasons, there’s something you’ll need to remember—in addition to a mask—if you decide to venture outside: sunscreen. It may not be the most glamorous of accessories, but it signifies the beginning of our
return to normal.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, life with sunscreen is far better than life without. In fact, daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce the risk of developing a type of cell carcinoma by about 40% and melanoma by about 50%. This also applies to those who don’t burn easily, as skin damage occurs whether or not you get sunburned.

When it comes to purchasing sunscreen, there are two types: physical sunscreen, which blocks and scatters rays, and chemical sunscreen, which absorbs rays before they can cause damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, although physical sunscreen is less likely to cause irritation, both are equally effective. However, make sure to purchase broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays, with SPF 15 or higher. Aveeno’s Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen ($9), Supergoop’s Matte Screen ($38) and Kinship’s Self Reflect ($25) are all examples of sunscreens that fulfill these conditions.

Regardless, the best sunscreen is one that you will use regularly. According to Stanford Healthcare, the most common mistake people make with sunscreen is actually insufficient application. So, although the past year has been primarily spent inside, consider making 2021 the year you start wearing sunscreen as you begin to venture out into the summer sun.

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Sunscreen proves beneficial as summer approaches