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Sun Care at Walgreens

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the United States with more new cases found each year than the total number of diagnoses of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. Reduce the risk of developing skin cancer as well as painful sunburn and sun damage with Sun Care Products at Walgreens. With products like sunscreen for both adults and children, sunglasses and after sun care, Walgreens makes it much easier to help the entire family stay sun safe.

The Dangers of Sun Exposure

The risks of sun exposure come from a type of energy found in sunlight called ultraviolet. There are two types of ultraviolet energy associated with problems like skin cancer and sunburn: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA and UVB differ in their wavelengths. Light rays move like the waves of an ocean, and the wavelength is the distance between the crest of one wave to the crest of the next. UVA rays have a long wavelength, meaning that there is a lot of space between the crests. This allows the energy to travel deep into the skin, where it can damage cells and cause mutations. UVA is shown to contribute to wrinkling of the skin, age spots and skin cancer. UVB rays have shorter wavelengths, so they affect the outer layer of skin. It is UVB energy that is responsible for sunburn, and it has been shown to play a role in skin cancer.

Protecting the Skin from the Sun

Our sunscreens are products that contain FDA-approved ingredients that filter the amount of ultraviolet that reaches your skin. Every sunscreen has a sun protection factor, which indicates how much of the UVB from the sun the product can filter out. An SPF 15 sunscreen filters out about 93 percent of UVB, while an SPF 30 product will filter out about 97 percent. Sunscreens that also provide protection against UVA rays are labeled as "broad-spectrum." Most skin care experts recommend applying 1 ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure and then reapplying more every 2 hours unless you swim or sweat profusely before those 2 hours have passed.

Getting a Safer Tan

Many people like the way their skin looks after a day in the sun, but tanning can be dangerous because it exposes the skin to ultraviolet radiation. Fortunately, you can get the look of a tan without endangering your skin. Sunless tanning products use ingredients that chemically react with your skin and give it a temporary tan color without the presence of ultraviolet. At Walgreens, there are many sunless tanning options available that make it easy to get the color you want without all the risks of tanning.

Protection for the Eyes

Your skin isn't the only part of you that can be harmed by the sun. Studies have found that exposure to UVA and UVB rays increases the risk of eye problems, including cataracts, cancers of the eye lids and a condition called macular degeneration, which leads to vision loss and blindness. Wearing sunglasses that block UVA and UVB light can help reduce these risks to promote eye health. Be sure to check out Walgreens selection of sunglasses that will help keep you sun safe in style.

If you're uncertain which sunscreen or pair of sunglasses in the Walgreens Sun Care department is most ideal for your sun care needs, ask your doctor for advice.