Spa Health: Sun Protection Education

New study shows Americans are uninformed about proper sun protection.

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It may be fall, but the sun is still shining overhead, and that means proper sun protection is still needed. However, a new study conducted by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) has found that most Americans are uninformed about proper sun protection, regardless of the season.

According to the survey, 38% of Americans believe sunscreen is only needed on sunny days. However, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun's harmful UV rays can still damage a person's skin. Additionally, the sun's rays can reflect off things like water and snow, which means even if it's cold while you're skiing, you may still be at risk.

Americans are also uninformed when it comes to sun damage. The survey found 40% of those surveyed believe the main risk of sun exposure is sunburn, and 45% believe skin aging is most driven by a person's genetics. However, research has shown sun exposure is a major culprit in aging of the skin and helping to cause wrinkles, sagging, and age spots, and at its worst skin cancer.

And 33% of those surveyed believe that darker your skin, the more sun you can take. Not so, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who says all skin types and colors can be damaged by the sun's rays.

So what can you do to talk to your clients and make sure they are properly informed about the harmful effects of the sun? The PCPC offers these tips you can share with your clients:

  • Seek shade when the sun is strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Always use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Be extra cautious when around water, snow and sand.
  • Avoid tanning beds.

For more tips, visit cosmeticsinfo.org.