This year, 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed. Applying sunscreen properly can help you avoid becoming one of those cases.

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Did you know that about 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society? Remember to protect your skin and use sunscreen if you're heading outdoors this Memorial Day. Here are six things to know and consider about sunscreen as summer kicks off:

  1. Check labels for the term "broad-spectrum." That means it protects against both the UVA rays which cause wrinkles and cancer as well as the UVB rays which cause burns.
  2. Dermatologists say SPF 30 is the new SPF 15. Doctors are now recommending SPF 30 more than SPF 15 because the former blocks 97 percent of UVB rays.
  3. Check expiration dates. Sunscreen becomes less effective about three years after you open the container.
  4. Apply at least two layers of sunscreen.
  5. Remember your nose and ears! Take a moment to remove your sunglasses and apply sunscreen to your nose and ears.
  6. There is no sunscreen that provides 100 percent protection. To be as safe as possible, reapply every two hours and after a swim, even if you use a water-resistant brand.
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