Sunscreen in the morning and reapplication every two hours: sounds simple right?

A recent survey by sunscreen makers Banana Boat, revealed that only 9 per cent of Canadian adults applied sunscreen every two hours while being outdoors.

“The standard among Canadian dermatologists, as well as the American Cancer Society, is to recommend that people apply one ounce of sunscreen -- the size of a golf ball -- every two hours while outdoors, and even more often if they’ve been swimming or sweating,” says dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll in a press release.

The experts at Banana Boat have come up with a custom quiz that will help you figure out your sun IQ. Should you wear sunscreen in the rain? Skip it if you have darker skin? Take the quiz and find out.

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  • Everyday Wear

    <strong>True or False: </strong> Sunscreen isn't needed on a cloudy day.

  • FALSE

    Up to 80 per cent of the sun's rays can penetrate clouds, mist and fog, so even if you can't see the sun, it can still see you!

  • Stay Out Longer

    <strong>True or False:</strong> A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 means you can stay out in the sun 30 times longer without burning.

  • TRUE

    SPF indicates how much longer you can spend in the sun without burning, compared to having unprotected skin. The amount of time varies from person-to-person depending on your skin type. For example, if you have fair skin and tend to burn in 10 minutes without sunscreen, then a SPF 30 will protect you 30x's longer -- or a total of 300 minutes for the day -- assuming you are applying the sunscreen every two hours. Sunscreen reapplication does not provide you with an additional 300 minutes of protection; it just provides the original 300 minutes. Those who tend to burn more easily should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF, especially when out in the sun for long periods of time.

  • Proper Amount Of Sunscreen?

    <strong>True or False: </strong> Wearing the proper amount of sunscreen during peak hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is enough to protect you from the sun.

  • FALSE

    Wearing the proper amount of sunscreen with the correct SPF for your skin during peak hours is a great first step in sun protection. However, extra measures are required to fully protect yourself during the sun's strongest time period. Limiting sun exposure (such as seeking shade or using an umbrella), wearing protective clothing and, of course, using sunscreens may reduce the risks of skin aging, skin cancer and other harmful effect of the sun.

  • 365 Days A Year?

    <strong>True or False:</strong> Sunscreen is just like a pair of white pants: you bring it out for the May long weekend and you can put it away after Labour Day.

  • FALSE

    Although the sun may not feel as warm before May and after September, UVA rays are just as strong all year round. UVA rays are not affected by time of day or season. It is important to wear sunscreen every day, all year round to avoid the long-term effects of the sun.

  • Fair Skin?

    <strong>True or False:</strong> Only those with fair skin are at risk for skin cancer and need to use sunscreen.

  • FALSE

    Although your skin type can help dictate the amount of time you can stay in the sun without burning, those with darker skin need to remember they are not immune to the effects of the sun, and damage can occur even without burning. There are a number of other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer: not using sunscreen; working, playing or exercising in the sun for long periods of time; having one blistering sunburn as a child; and taking drugs that make you more sensitive to UV light.

  • Skin Cancer

    <strong>True or False: </strong> Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage and skin cancer.

  • TRUE

    Although they impact the skin in different ways, both types of UV rays can cause serious skin damage. UVA rays penetrate your skin more deeply, causing premature aging and long-term skin damage, such as wrinkles and sun spots. UVB rays penetrate the outer layer of your skin and are responsible for sunburns. Too much of either can eventually lead to skin cancer.

  • All The Same

    <strong> True Or False:</strong> All sunscreens are the same -- as long as you're wearing one, you'll be well protected from the sun.

  • FALSE

    All sunscreens offer some protection from UVB rays (preventing sunburns), but not all protect against UVA rays (those rays that penetrate your skin more deeply). Proper application of a "broad spectrum" (with both UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen, like most Banana Boat products, is the best way to defend your skin against both the immediate and long-term effects that the sun's rays can have on your skin.

  • Protection

    <strong>True or False:</strong> Photostable sunscreens provide protection that won't break down in the sun.

  • TRUE

    UV rays have so much energy that they can actually break apart some sunscreens over time (just like the sun can damage your hair, skin, carpet, curtains, etc.). When this happens, sunscreens lose their ability to absorb UV rays, leaving skin unprotected. Photostable sunscreens resist this degradation so your skin is effectively protected.

  • In The Morning

    <strong>True or False:</strong> As long as you apply sunscreen each morning before going outside, you will be well protected from the sun.

  • FALSE

    It is extremely important to re-apply sunscreen throughout the day to ensure full protection from the sun's harmful rays. Follow these rules for proper sunscreen application:<br>a. Apply early: Apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure.<br>b. Apply enough: Each time you apply, you should be using one ounce or 30mL of sunscreen -- this is roughly the size of a golf ball.<br>c. Apply everywhere: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/06/07/strange-sunburn-areas_n_1571793.html" target="_hplink">Don't forget ears, lips, shoulders and nose. These areas are most susceptible to sun exposure</a>.<br>d. Re-apply frequently: Be sure to re-apply one ounce of sunscreen every two hours, especially after swimming.

  • Sun IQ Score

    <strong>If you got 7 to 9 answers correct:</strong> <em>You Are A Sun Savvy Superstar!</em> Congratulations! It looks like you know your stuff when it comes to protecting yourself from the sun. While you passed the test with flying colours, your job isn't over yet. Use your knowledge of sunscreen to ensure your family and friends stay well-protected too, regardless of their skin type or age. <br><strong>If you got 4 to 6 answers correct:</strong> <em>You Are A Sun Safety Supporter</em> Although you are on the right track to learning your sun protection ABC's, you still have some facts to get caught up on. Practice the sun safety advice you've learned here and come back and take the quiz again. <br><strong>If you got 0 to 3 answers correct:</strong> <em>You Are A Serious Sun Slacker</em> You may like to have fun in the sun, but sooner or later you will get burnt. It's time for you to do your homework and understand the true consequences of leaving yourself unprotected against the sun's harmful rays.

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