With summer in full swing, it’s important to make sure your sunscreen game is on point! We know you want to make sure your family is protected from the sun’s harmful rays. We put together this short guide, the pool owner’s checklist to choosing sunscreen, so you can enjoy a worry-free summer in the sun.
The Pool Owner’s A-B-C’s of R-A-Y’s
Both direct and indirect sun rays can be harsh and damaging to the skin. It’s important to know the differences in UVA and UVB sun rays and how they affect the skin. This will help you select the best sunscreen protection for poolside and water games.
UVA rays are ultraviolet light rays that penetrate deep into the outer skin layer. UVA rays can cause wrinkles, premature aging, and can even lead to cancer. Be mindful of these rays on those long, extended sunny days by the pool. Check that the sunscreen you choose protects against UVA rays and look for an appropriate SPF number. More on that in a minute …
UVB rays are short wave light rays and typically affect the top layer of the skin. Think of suntans and sunburn when the sun is at its highest, most intense peak of the day. Without enough protection, the skin heats up faster and starts burning quicker. Those who are sun-sensitive and youngsters are the most susceptible to these rays.
Besides making sure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays (usually labeled “broad-spectrum”), be sure to choose one that is waterproof or water-resistant for the best coverage.
Decoding the SPF Number
Also, the pool owner’s checklist to choosing sunscreen should include determining everyone’s needed SPF. Determining what is ideal for your family members depends on the person’s age, skin sensitivity, and chosen activity.
SPF, which stands for “Sun Protection Factor,” touts a specific number. This number indicates approximately how many extra minutes your skin can tolerate the sun before it starts to redden. For example, if your unprotected skin might start to redden within 15 minutes, a sunscreen product with SPF 15 would protect you for an additional 15 minutes. Likewise, an SPF 50 product would extend the time by 50 minutes. It’s good to use an SPF of 30 or greater for outdoor activities.
For water activities, a waterproof sunscreen offers an average of about 80 minutes of water protection while a water-resistant sun blocker offers about 40 minutes of protection. Be aware that these protection times can vary across brands, individual sensitivity, and water activity.
Apply Sunscreen Often
Before you head outside, your skin needs time to absorb the sunscreen and create a barrier. So, apply any product about 15 minutes before sun exposure. Of course, time, sweat, and the pool will slowly dilute your sunscreen protection, so apply the product every two hours, minimum. Re-apply sooner as needed and also after a period of swimming or excessive sweating during water games.
Finally, make sure to apply sunscreen to your entire body before putting on your swimsuit since the sun’s radiation also penetrates clothing. Most swimsuit material doesn’t offer enough protection to guard against sun damage.
As a pool owner, you want everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun. Refer often to this checklist for choosing sunscreen to ensure that everyone stays comfortable and sun-safe by the pool!
Being outside on sunny days is certainly heaven on earth, but protection is key. Proper sunscreen will let the fun continue uninterrupted … because who doesn’t love all-day swimming and endless pool parties! There is nothing more fun and relaxing than parking poolside all day and getting all the Vitamin D you can stand. Got other questions about pool ownership? Contact us! We’re here to help.