Sun Protection Essential Even On Cloudy Days

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Hawaiian Customs and Traditions
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Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon
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Roniette Libedinsky of the Los Angeles Examiner recently reported on the importance of protecting oneself from the sun, even on cloudy days.

The following is quoted from

Not only do clouds not block UV radiation, but they often magnify the effects of radiation because UV rays can be redirected and magnified by clouds. For example, the weather forecast for today, June 2nd, calls for mostly cloudy and scattered showers. Yet the UV index is estimated to be in the high exposure category (7 on a scale of 0-11).


Exposure to UV rays is a risk factor for skin cancer, but luckily, this is one factor that can be easily controlled.

• Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. SPF is a measure of the amount of sun exposure you’re protected from; it’s not related to the time of sun exposure.

For example, you might get the same amount of sun exposure during 15 minutes at midday as you would get during 1 hour in the late afternoon. Therefore, wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 does not mean that you can be in the sun 15 times as long as you would normally be before burning.

• Use plenty of sunscreen.

Many people don’t get maximum protection from sunscreens, because they don’t use enough of it. About 1 ounce is needed to cover all your exposed parts. Many sunscreens come in about 4 ounce bottles, so about one quarter of the bottle should be used.

Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going out and re-apply every 2 hours.

• Choose a sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.

UVB radiation (280–315nm) damages the skin’s outer layers and is responsible for sunburns and skin cancer. UVA radiation (315–400nm), which penetrates deeper into the skin, is responsible for photoaging (wrinkles) and can also cause skin damage that leads to cancer.

Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens with sulisobenzone, avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in the ingredients.

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it protects us from heat, injury and infection. Not replenishing it with much needed water can lead to unhealthy skin that cannot as readily protect us from the elements.

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