Suntan lotion is a GREAT way to get a little color. Unfortunately it doesn’t protect you as well from the sun like sunblock does. All suntan lotions do have a very minimal amount of sunblock in them to protect you from long exposure to UV rays, but you need to know your limits. You don’t want to over expose yourself; it can be harmful to your health and especially your skin later down the road. Suntan lotions are SPF 15 to 30 and are not recommended to block out the sun.
The good thing to know is that even if you use sunblock you can still get a little bit of color without risking the chances of sunburn. You want to apply your sunblock 30-45 minutes prior to sun exposure. It is also a good idea to apply sunblock even when it is a little overcast outside the suns UV rays are still strong enough to burn your skin through the clouds. Sunblock’s are SPF 45 and above, these are recommended to protect your skin from harmful future problems.
Make sure the whole family is protected ESPECIALLY babies and young children. No matter their skin color dark or light you are always at risk of the long term effects of the sun. Apply sunblock even if you aren’t spending the day at the pool, being outside in general is a risk to your skin. It is a good idea to purchase waterproof sunblock any time you can for swimming, and waterproof is better when you could possibly be sweating. Make sure to apply your sunblock as directed on the bottle. Fragrance free and hypoallergenic lotions are recommended for younger children.
Precautions: Make sure to consult your doctor if; you or your child have any known skin problems, irritations, or allergies. Sunblock’s that are recommended for best results:
- AVEENO Baby Natural Protection Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50
- Banana Boat Kids Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
- Coppertone Water BABIES Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 50)
- Coppertone KIDS Wet’n Clear Sunscreen Spray (SPF 50)
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45+
Just a few problems the sun can cause to your skin:
- Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions – due to decreases in the skin’s immune function
- Benign tumors
- Fine and coarse wrinkles
- Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
- Sallowness — a yellow discoloration of the skin
- Telangiectasia’s — the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
- Elastosis — the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines, wrinkles and sagging skin)