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So, what do you need to do to protect your skin?

Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.

But which sunglasses are the best ones for you?

Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.

Bask in the shade. You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.

Grab a hat. Wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.

If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.

Apply that sunscreen. Sunscreens are assigned an SPF number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. People with darker skin types should aim for at least SPF 15 (though an SPF of at least 30 is even better).

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside – even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Put some on any exposed skin, including your back.

Also, remember that sunscreen wears off, so make sure you reapply it if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

What About The SPF In Cosmetics & Beauty Products?

More and more beauty products, including body lotion, face creams, makeup and lip balms, are being formulated with some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. However, it’s important to note that if they do not have at least SPF 15, they should not be used by themselves.

Yes, Blacks Need This, Too  was originally published on

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