How does sunscreen work?

I expect you’ve already heard much about the importance of using sunscreen at work and play – but do you know how different types of sunscreens work? I found a video that explains it well, in less than three minutes, from the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA implemented new rules for labelling sunscreen, effective June 18, 2012, and this video helps consumers understand their options.

In Canada, it’s Health Canada that “regulates the safety, effectiveness, and quality of sunscreens in Canada,” reads their website.

According to Health Canada, here’s what you can do to protect yourself from the sun:

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, ideally one that is water resistant, and be sure to follow the instructions on the product label.
  • If possible, avoid being in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Look for shade, stay under a tree, or use an umbrella.
  • During outdoor activities, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. When the UV index is three or higher, you should also wear protective clothing and a large-brimmed hat.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin.

The Canadian Dermatology Association Outdoor Workers Program offers posters and other sun safety information for workers and employers.

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