With cancer running throughout my family (including skin cancer!) running in my family, I’ve become more aware of the importance of protecting the skin, and the health, of my family!
According to Dr. Julia Carroll, “The standard among Canadian dermatologists, as well as the American Cancer Society, is to recommend that people apply one ounce of sunscreen – the size of a golf ball – every two hours while outdoors, and even more often if they’ve been swimming or sweating. The fact that less than 1-in-10 Canadians are following these standards is not acceptable and concerning to say the least.”
In support of National Sun Awareness Week, dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll and Banana Boat have developed a quiz to educate Canadians and find out if they are getting a passing grade in sun education. The quiz below will uncover the truth and shed light on sun safety this summer.
BANANA BOAT SUN 101 QUIZ – HOW SUN SAVVY ARE YOU?
For each question you get right, give yourself one point. Tally up your points at the end to find out your true Sun IQ.
1. True or False: Sunscreen isn’t needed on a cloudy day.
2. True or False: A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 means you can stay out in the sun 30 times longer without burning.
3. True or False: Wearing the proper amount of sunscreen during peak hours (10am to 2pm) is enough to protect yourself from the sun.
4. True or False: Sunscreen is just like a pair of white pants: you bring it out for the May long weekend and you can put it away after Labour Day.
5. True or False: Only those with fair skin are at risk for skin cancer and need to use sunscreen.
6. True or False: Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage and skin cancer.
7. True or False: All sunscreens are the same. As long as you’re wearing one, you’ll be well protected from the sun.
8. True or False: Photostable sunscreens provide protection that won’t break down in the sun.
9. True or False: As long as you apply sunscreen each morning before going outside, you will be well protected from the sun.
1. FALSE: Up to 80 per cent of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds, mist and fog, so even if you can’t see the sun, it can still see you!
2. TRUE: SPF indicates how much longer you can spend in the sun without burning, compared to having unprotected skin. The amount of time varies from person-to-person depending on your skin type. For example, if you have fair skin and tend to burn in 10 minutes without sunscreen, then an SPF 30 will protect you 30x’s longer – or a total of 300 minutes for the day – assuming you are applying the sunscreen every 2 hours. Sunscreen reapplication does NOT provide you with an additional 300 minutes of protection; it just provides the original 300 minutes. Those who tend to burn more easily should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF, especially when out in the sun for long periods of time.
3. FALSE: Wearing the proper amount of sunscreen with the correct SPF for your skin during peak hours is a great first step in sun protection. However, extra measures are required to fully protect yourself during the sun’s strongest time period. Limiting sun exposure (such as seeking shade or using an umbrella), wearing protective clothing and, of course, using sunscreens may reduce the risks of skin aging, skin cancer and other harmful effect of the sun.
4. FALSE: Although the sun may not feel as warm before May and after September, UVA rays are just as strong all year round. UVA rays are not affected by time of day or season. It is important to wear sunscreen every day, all year round to avoid the long term effects of the sun caused by UVA rays.
5. FALSE: Although your skin type can help dictate the amount of time you can stay in the sun without burning, those with darker skin need to remember that they are not immune to the effects of the sun, and damage can occur even without burning. There are a number of other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer, which include: not using sunscreen; working, playing or exercising in the sun for long periods of time; have one blistering sunburn as a child; and taking drugs that make you more sensitive to UV light.
6. TRUE: Although they impact the skin in different ways, both types of UV rays can cause serious skin damage. UVA rays penetrate your skin more deeply, causing pre-mature aging and long-term skin damage, such as wrinkles and sun spots. UVB rays penetrate the outer layer of your skin, and are responsible for sunburns. Too much of either can eventually lead to skin cancer.
7. FALSE: All sunscreens offer some protection from UVB rays (preventing sunburns), but not all protect against UVA rays (those rays that penetrate your skin more deeply). Proper application of a “broad spectrum” (with both UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen, like most Banana Boat products, is the best way to defend your skin against both the immediate and long term effects that the sun’s rays can have on your skin.
8. TRUE: UV rays have so much energy that they can actually break apart some sunscreens over time (just like the sun can damage your hair, skin, carpet, curtains, etc.). When this happens, sunscreens lose their ability to absorb UV rays, leaving skin unprotected. Photostable sunscreens resist this degradation so your skin is effectively protected. There are many photostable sunscreens available in stores, including Banana Boat’s new SPF 100 Kids & Sport sunscreens.
9.FALSE: It is extremely important to re-apply sunscreen throughout the day to ensure full protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Follow these rules for proper sunscreen application:
1. Apply early: Apply sunscreen at least 15 – 30 minutes before sun exposure.
2. Apply enough: Each time you apply, you should be using one ounce or 30mL of sunscreen – this is roughly the size of a golf ball.
3. Apply everywhere: Don’t forget ears, lips, shoulders and nose. These areas are most susceptible to sun exposure.
4. Re-apply frequently: Be sure to re-apply one ounce of sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming.
YOUR SUN IQ SCORE:
If you got 7 – 9 answers correct:
You are a Sun Savvy Superstar!
Congratulations! It looks like you know your stuff when it comes to protecting yourself from the sun. While you passed the test with flying colours, your job isn’t over yet. Use your knowledge of sunscreen to ensure your family and friends stay well protected too, regardless of their skin type or age.
If you got 4 – 6 answers correct:
You are a Sun Safety Supporter
Although you are on the right track to learning your sun protection ABC’s, you still have some facts to get caught up on. Practice the sun safety advice you’ve learned here and come back and take the quiz again.
If you got 0 – 3 answers correct:
You are a Serious Sun Slacker
You may like to have fun in the sun, but sooner or later you will get burnt. It’s time for you to do your homework and understand the true consequences of leaving yourself unprotected against the sun’s harmful rays. Here’s a helpful hint: use one of Banana Boat’s spray sunscreens. They are easy to use and ensures you’re covered from head-to-toe. You’ve still got a lot to learn, so get started now!