Consumer Information on Over Exposure Under the Sun and the Use of Sunscreen Products
Over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun may lead to skin cancer. There are two harmful UV rays. The UV-A rays which easily pass through glass windows and cause wrinkles and pre-mature aging of the skin, and the UV-B rays which are blocked by glass windows and cause sunburn. Water reflects the damaging rays of the sun and increases the chance of sunburn.
There are practical ways to avoid over exposure from harmful sun rays. Protective clothing may be worn, such as the use of long-sleeved shirt, pants, a hat or sunglasses. The sun's rays are most intense between 10 am and 3 pm. In order to protect the skin from over exposure to damaging UV rays, always seek shade or use an umbrella.
If staying under the sun is unavoidable, use sunscreen protection, which comes in different preparation, like lotion, cream, gel, or ointment, are available. Creams are best for the face and dry skin. Gels are good for hairy areas of the skin. Water resistant sunscreen products are best when going swimming or when sweating profusely. Regardless of which sunscreen preparation you choose, be sure to apply it generously to achieve full UV ray protection.
The best sun protection for babies is to keep them in the shade or protect using appropriate clothes or cover. Allow them to drink plenty of fluid. Babies have sensitive skin compared to adults and applying sunscreen preparation to less than 6-month old babies should be avoided. When applied to older babies, apply sunscreens only to skin not covered by clothing and never apply them around the eyes.
All consumers are advised to read the label and follow the instructions on the amount that can be applied on the body, when to apply sunscreens before actual exposure, the frequency of re-application, among other instructions and precautions. Remember that not all sunscreens have the same ingredients. Choose a product that suits your skin. Be aware of the expiration date because some sunscreen ingredients might degrade over time.