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7 burning questions about sunscreen, answered

Vox: “Anyone who’s suffered the torment of a sunburn can tell you how they wished they’d done a better job protecting their skin. Sunscreen, one of the tools in the sun-protective tool belt, is non-negotiable, regardless of the weather or your skin type. Any dermatologist will say so; they’re likely to recommend everyone include it in their daily skin-care regimen. Even so, many American adults aren’t great about wearing sunscreen: Only 12 percent of men and 29 percent of women reported always using sunscreen when outside on a sunny day for an hour or more, according to a 2020 National Health Interview Survey. Sunscreen — which works by blocking ultraviolet radiation from the sun — has been shown to prevent skin cancer, wrinkles, pigmentation, and sunburn. Taken together with other smart sun practices, like wearing sunglasses and a hat that covers the face and ears and seeking shade, regular sunscreen use can lower your risk of skin cancers, both among lighter-skinned people (who are more susceptible to skin cancer) and people of color, who are more likely to die from skin cancer due to a delay in detection. Not all sunscreens available in the US (and elsewhere) are built alike. In the European Union, for instance, sunscreen is regulated as a cosmetic product so new ingredients have been introduced into their formulas, compared to the US where new ingredients haven’t been approved in over two decades. Some sunscreens leave a ghostly cast; others can exceed $50 for just a few ounces of product. To help guide you toward the sunscreen of your dreams, experts provide clarity on common questions about the product..”

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