Tips for protecting your skin as the weather gets warmer

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The sun is coming out more as summer nears — that means more people outside and more harmful sun rays to go around. That’s why sunscreen shouldn’t be skipped.

According to data from the state’s department of health, New Mexico had two to three deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2017 due to skin cancer.

It’s a good statistic, but people shouldn’t let their guard down.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) said UVA rays are known as the “aging” rays as they can cause premature wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays are responsible for nasty sunburns. A glass window can block UVB rays, but UVA rays can pass through.

However, a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher can help block rays.

A shot glass full of sunscreen is the typical suggested amount of product to cover your entire body. The AAD said most people only apply 25% to 50% of the suggested amount of sunscreen. Therefore, make sure to apply all the exposed skin that clothes doesn’t cover.

The final rule is to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure to allow the product to absorb into the skin. Reapply at least every two hours, or as instructed by the sunscreen brand.

If not, the rays won’t be blocked.