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The best way to protect the body from UV rays is to stay out of the sun, especially during hot, summer days: reduce sun exposure, stay in shade as much as possible, cover the body, avoid tanning beds, check the skin regularly for moles, and use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor.
Sunscreen blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays, and it is therefore essential in reinforcing the skin’s protection. Recent studies indicate sunscreens with 1 to 6 percent oxybenzone do not presents any risks of skin irritation. The mineral-based sunscreens with ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide seem to also be safe and effective (Mayo Clinic, 2010, para 12-13). However, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report from 2007 shows there is no proof sunblock prevents skin cancer, recommending appropriate clothing as the best solution of avoiding UV rays exposure. The same FDA report suggest there is however sufficient evidence that sunblock might increase the risks of melanoma (Breyer, 2010, para. 5-6).
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Gibson, L. E. (2010). Are tanning beds safer than natural sunlight? Electronically retrieved from http://anna-hall.com/are-tanning-beds-safer-than-natural-sunlight-1-of-3/
Mayo Clinic Staff (2010). Best sunscreen: Understand sunscreen options. Electronically retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/best-sunscreen/MY01350