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Separate fact from myth about sunscreen and harmful rays

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Woman Applying Sunscreen --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

DENVER — It is super hot outside and sun exposure is intense at high altitudes. That’s why doctors say sunscreen is a must for children and adults.

The key is to use it properly, but unfortunately, there are several myths about sunscreen that are easy to fall victim to, so here’s some advice from experts on how to keep your family protected.

Myth #1: “I don’t need sunscreen if I don’t spend much time in the sun”

Doctors say skin damage can occur (that can lead to melanoma) if you repeatedly spend time in the sun without protection, even for a few minutes at a time. The sun’s rays are also harmful on cloudy days.

Myth #2: “My make-up has sunscreen so I don’t need any extra protection”

Many cosmetics do contain sunscreen, but you may not apply them in a thick enough fashion to create the coverage you need to prevent skin damage. Experts say try a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or above underneath your foundation.

Myth #3 : “I have darker skin so I don’t need sunscreen”

Not true.  Doctors say while darker skin typically has extra protection from the sun, it’s not enough to prevent skin cancer from developing.

Additional tips:
— Wear a hat and sunglasses to shield your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
— Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours.
— Make sure to purchase sunscreen that is marked Broad Spectrum with an SPF of 30 or higher
— Limit outdoor playtime for kids to no longer than 1-2 hours.

For more information about protecting your family from the sun’s harmful rays visit http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/sunscreen-myths