If the index in below 2, no sunscreen is needed. Above 8, take extra care.
Sun protection is likely on the tips of your fingers, nose and shoulders with hot, sunny days in abundance this summer. It’s important to protect yourself against unwanted exposure to the sun. In doing so, you can help prevent your chances of developing skin cancer now or down the road. But how much sunscreen do you really need, and when?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a helpful UV Index scale posted online. It provides users with direct information on how much of that goopy stuff you may need. It’s linked to a UV Index scale established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and developed in accordance with international guidelines. Handy!
In case you don’t have time to check it out yourself, here’s the scoop.
The UV index you hear about on the weather report ranges from about 0 to 10, in ‘normal weather’. When the sun is shining in the 0-2 UV index range, you don’t need to cover up. No sunscreen needed.
(Of course, you know your skin best, however. If you’re very fair and need the extra protection, do what you think is best. The scale is offered as a general guide).
When skies brighten and you head into the 3 to 7 range, this is considered a ‘moderate to high’ UV index. It’s recommended that you apply broad-spectrum SPF-15 or higher sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses and step into some protective clothing such as long sleeves, if needed.
Get out of the sun in the afternoon if you can, as conditions can really warm up.
And when the UV index reaches 8 and above, it’s considered extremely high. Watch that you don’t get sun stroke, and take all the precautionary steps you did in the 3 to 7 UV index range, with a little extra care.
For more information on protecting yourself on sunny days, click here.