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Sunscreen 101

Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr

The warnings are everywhere. You need to protect yourself from the sun. Here are some things to look for in a sunscreen.

— Broad Spectrum: Look for products labeled with ‘broad spectrum’ to protect against both ultraviolet A and B rays.

— Ingredients: You want zinc and titanium dioxide to be included in the ingredient list.

— Pure: Doctors caution against using sunscreens with colors and fragrances, especially for kids, because some of the essential oils used to scent and color sunscreen are not safe for kids or babies.

— Reapply: Reapply sunscreen every two hours, no matter what the bottle says. (

When it comes to the number of times that you have to reapply sunscreen, remember that, when you put your makeup on in the morning, getting a face foundation/base or moisturizer that contains sunscreen will also only work for a couple of hours. So you can’t just moisturize and put your makeup on and assume that you are covered for the day.

I have also done a number of news stories throughout the years showing that generic brands of sunscreen and sunblock are as effective or even more effective than brand names. Which helps, considering the high price of the brand name sunscreen products.

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