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Sunscreen: It’s never too late

Maybe you were one of those people who lathered up with baby oil before soaking up rays for hours at a time. Or maybe you just never put sunscreen on before a day of gardening or yard work. Or perhaps you suffered quite a few serious sunburns as a child. Whatever the case, you still can—and should—take steps to protect your skin today. Many older people think, The damage is done; there’s nothing I can do about it. But that’s just not true. Even if your skin has been damaged by the sun, and you have freckles, age spots and wrinkles, wearing sunscreen will prevent further damage.

Use the right sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone use a broad-spectrum (meaning it protects against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A and B rays), water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.

Wear it every day. Rub sunscreen on even if it’s cloudy and even if you plan on being indoors all day, as the sun’s damaging rays can pass through the clouds and windows.

Put it on correctly. Apply to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside. You should use at least an ounce of sunscreen (the amount that would fit in a shot glass) to cover all exposed body parts. If you’re in the sun for a long stretch, reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily. Don’t forget your lips, either. Use a lip balm that contains sunscreen.