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What Kind of Sunscreen Should You Use?

As we prepare to transition from spring to summer, many homeowners are excited to try out their new in-ground pools or to have one installed before pool weather truly arrives. But there’s more to summer days by the pool than water, a good swimsuit, and the right friends and family. You also want to protect your skin from harmful UV rays that could cause sunburn or other health issues. For this, you’ll need sunscreen.

You’ve heard it since you were a kid: “don’t forget to put on sunscreen!” But there are different kinds of sunscreen, all of which offer different levels of protection. How do you choose the right one?

The Higher the SPF, the Better

SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor,” and it’s probably an element of sunscreen that you might have known a bit about already. Most sunscreen bottles offer either SPF 15 or SPF 30, though you may find some that fall somewhere in between. SPF 15 blocks 93% of the UV rays that can cause sunburn, while SPF 30 blocks as much as 97%. It may not seem like a big difference, but when you consider that no sunscreen is able to completely protect you from sunburn, having the most protection possible could mean the difference between coming home looking and feeling like a boiled lobster and coming home refreshed.

Work On a “Broad Spectrum”

To know what kind of sunscreen you need, you should also know what kind of UV rays you need to watch out for. Sunscreen can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are likely to cause premature wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays, on the other hand, are the ones that cause sunburn. But exposure to both can lead to more serious health issues such as skin cancer. Not all sunscreen protects from both UVA and UVB, so look for sunscreen with the label “broad spectrum.”

Choose the Sunscreen That’s Most Comfortable For You

Sunscreen comes in a wide variety of different mediums, from roll-on sticks of sunscreen to spray to lotion. This doesn’t typically impact the quality of the sunscreen very much. If it’s well-manufactured, any of these sunscreens could be the right choice for you so it comes down to your personal preference. If you don’t feel confident in the coverage of spray-on sunscreen, opt for a gel or a lotion. If you don’t like the sticky feeling of either of those, consider stick sunscreen or spray. If you have issues with your skin, look for a sunscreen that doesn’t block pores (a “non-comedogenic” sunscreen.

The important thing is to find a sunscreen that you’re comfortable using every day and to apply it effectively. You want to be able to enjoy your days by the pool without having to worry about sunburn...or later, more serious consequences. Still need help finding your perfect pool to enjoy the summer? Donnelly Pools, LLC can help. Contact us today to learn more about our pools or to get started on your in-ground pool order.

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