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Now at the peak of the summer season, you may need to be armed with a good explanation as to why your children need to keep reapplying their ‘water resistant’ sunscreen.  

Nobody at my house argues with me about applying sunscreen - this is one fight that you just can't win – but there is often squawking about the frequency of application. If you have children, then you'll probably understand the battle. Here's why all sunscreen, water resistant or not, requires frequent application.  

Water Resistant Sunscreen Vs Waterproof Sunscreen  

Many sunscreen manufacturers advertise their sunscreens as being waterproof. However, since 2002, the FDA has required companies to eliminate the use of the word 'waterproof' when referring to sunscreens. Not only is it misleading, but it is also potentially dangerous. Despite this, you will still find sunscreens labeled as being waterproof, leaving skin exposed to unprotected UV exposure.

New regulations allow the use of the terms water resistant and very water resistant sunscreens. Water resistant formulations provide 40 minutes of protection upon exposure to water, while very water resistant products deliver up to 80 minutes.

Sunscreen For Water Activities  

If you will be spending time outdoors follow these guidelines to keep skin protected:

1.Apply sunscreen 20 – 30 minutes prior to UV exposure.
2.Reapply frequently. Every 40 minutes for water resistant formulations and 80 minutes for very water resistant formulations. Reapply more frequently if sunscreen is washed, rubbed or sweated off.
3.Sunscreens should not be used to increase the amount of time you spend outside.
4.Always use sunscreen in combination with other sun protection measures including: shade, clothing, hats and sunglasses.

Look for water resistant sunscreens that deliver UVA and UVB protection amongst a range of brands including [Link Removed].

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].

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