If you think you know the full story on sun protection, you may just want to think again. Take the time to carefully read this post, and look at the graphics, you’ll be so glad you did.
Independent data journalist David McCandless from Information Is Beautiful has taken the time to research the science behind the sun, and compile some brilliant information on how best to protect yourself and your children.
The Sunscreen Smokescreen graphic is a walkthrough of sun protection, starting with identifying the different types of ultraviolet rays, and explaining the meaning of the Sun Protection Factor on sunscreen bottles and tubes. There’s a handy formula, which can be used to calculate how much time you will be protected from harmful rays, depending on the SPF factor of your sunscreen and your skin type.
Many people don’t apply enough sunscreen to begin with, or fail to reapply it regularly. I’m guilty of quickly slapping on as much sunscreen as I can on my writhing children who are itching to get out and play. But a quick glance at the above graphic instantly tells me I need to take more care with how much sunscreen I apply.
The graphic includes information on how much UV is reflected from different surfaces, like snow and grass, and also a brief reminder that the sun is actually good for us. I had to rectify my vitamin D deficiency while pregnant with my second child – after being warned of an increasing incidence of children being born with rickets due to pregnant mothers’ lack of exposure to sunlight. It is a fine balancing act to get enough sun exposure to maintain our health but not enough to damage it, so knowledge is king. The high-resolution, instantly printable PDF version of the Sunscreen Smokescreen graphic can be purchased for $7 from Information Is Beautiful. And incidentally, the gorgeous image at the top of the post is from the stunning Stella Cove swimwear collection, which we featured last year.