As a new mom or dad, you have a laundry list of infant health issues to be concerned with, but now that we're in the dog days of summer, sun care is likely at the top of your list of priorities. Sunburn is especially dangerous for a child's skin, and the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that suffering one or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing potentially-deadly melanoma later in life.
This risk is especially acute in infants, as babies younger than 6 months old should never be in direct sunlight, while infants 6 months and older must be well-protected with sunscreen when outdoors, according to The Mayo Clinic. But how can you pick the ideal sunscreen for your little one? Here are a few key features to look for when shopping for FSA-eligible baby sunscreen.
- Broad Spectrum Protection
On each bottle of sunscreen there are two important pieces of information to look out for. First, the product is most effective if it offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, which are the primary causes of sun damage. Additionally, the product's sun protection factor (SPF) is significant as well. The Mayo Clinic suggests that baby sunscreen should be at least SPF 15 to provide an adequate level of protection against the sun's rays (and if using your FSA to purchase the sunscreen, only those that are SPF 15+ will qualify as eligible).
- Chemical-free Sunscreens
Chemical-free sunscreens are the better choice for baby sunscreen for two very important reasons. First and foremost, if ingredients in a chemical sunscreen run due to sweat or another form of moisture, they could sting the baby's eyes or could even cause a skin reaction. Chemical-free sunscreens typically contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide, and BabyCenter reports that these products have the added benefit of being active from the second they are rubbed onto the skin, as opposed to chemical sunscreens that may need 15-30 minutes to become active.
Now, refine your sun care routine!
When you've found the perfect baby sunscreen, it's important to remember that an infant's skin burns very easily, so you'll need to practice additional sun safety measures. These include:
- Seek the shade: Whenever possible, make an effort to keep your baby in the shade to ensure that he/she will not receive direct sunlight for the majority of your time outdoors.
- Avoid peak sun hours: According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, UV rays are at their most intense levels between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so re-apply sunscreen generously during these hours or keep your outdoor time reserved for the early morning and evening when the sun is not its strongest.
- Invest in sun-protective clothing: In addition to using baby sunscreen, there are a number of great sun protective clothing items that can protect your infant's skin. Tightly-woven or knit clothing, hats and dark/brightly colored clothing offer the best possible protection from the sun.
For everything you need to keep your family healthy year-round, you can rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits.
It's one of the hallmarks of summer, but not exactly a welcome one! Whether you forget to apply sunscreen or linger in the sun for too long, the pain and discomfort of a sunburn will let you know that your sun care regimen needs to change for the better.
But now that you have a sunburn, it's time to treat it! Sunburn will clear up on its own after time, but in severe cases, additional treatments may be necessary to combat pain, itching and discomfort. Alleviating sunburn is even easier if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) to cover these treatment options! Here are a few ways to get started.
- Utilize cold compresses
Cold packs and other forms of cold therapy are FSA-eligible, and the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends these products to treat sunburns soon after you have come out of the sun. Cold packs can combat the itching and burning that is associated with sunburns, as well as reduce any skin inflammation present. While your skin is still damp, continue therapy with gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse).
- Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Inflammation is what makes a bad sunburn even worse, but you may be able to find relief in your own medicine cabinet. WebMD reports that non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like over-the-counter pain relievers including ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, can treat the pain of sunburns with the added benefit of controlling the body's immune response to become inflamed. Remember, OTC medicines require a prescription from a doctor for FSA reimbursement, so use our Prescription Process!
- Cortisone Cream
Another reliable means of treating sunburn with your FSA is hydrocortisone cream, a topical steroid that is ideal to treat skin conditions that result in inflammation, redness and swelling. This is the best option in the case of extreme sunburns, but the Mayo Clinic recommends sticking with the 1 percent hydrocortisone cream that is easy on the skin and will soothe scorched areas in moments of extreme itchiness and discomfort.
Depending on the severity of your sunburn, there's a good chance that your skin will crack and peel no matter what you do, but dermatologists recommend moisturizing burned areas with skin fortifying lotion in the days following your sunburn. Medicated moisturizers that are fortified with aloe vera and other skin enhancing ingredients are best for this purpose, and they're FSA-eligible with a prescription! Apply twice a day after your sunburn to keep these damaged areas from drying out and blistering.
Ensure that you and your family have a happy, healthy summer by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
The real beginning of summer arrives on June 20, but if you ask most Americans, the real start of summer is Memorial Day weekend! With a long weekend to look forward to, many will hit the road for their first beach excursion, host a barbecue and enjoy time with their friends and family.
No matter where you're headed this weekend, you and your loved ones' health should still be a top priority! Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) covers a surprising range of products that can help you prevent or tackle possible health issues with ease. When you're prepping for Memorial Day weekend, here's how to use FSA money to welcome the unofficial start of summer.
- Sun Care Bundle
Unless you've been working on your base tan all winter long, your skin is far more susceptible to sunburns during the early summer. In addition to being extremely uncomfortable, sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer, so make sure you and your loved ones are protected with sunscreen with broad spectrum protection. Broad spectrum sunscreen blocks out UVA and UVB rays, the primary wavelengths of UV light that contribute to sunburns.
Check Out: MDSolarSciences Bundle "The Sun Never Sets"
- First Aid Kit
Whether it's a minor scratch or an injury that may require more advanced medical attention, make sure you have a solution when a sudden emergency rears its head. First aid kits are a great investment in the early summer that you can keep handy around the house, in your car/RV/boat or wherever you're headed to respond confidently when an injury arises.
- Elastic Bandage
Going to play a game of pickup football with your friends? Or are you heading on a hike in your favorite state park? Elastic bandages are a great item to have around the house in the case of a muscle or tendon injury, as they can immobilize injured areas so you can heal more quickly.
Check Out: ACE 2" Elastic Bandage with Hook Closure
- Anti-Allergy Nasal Spray
If you're still contending with the worst of your seasonal allergies, be sure to pick up allergy medicine (Rx required when using an FSA) before spending extended time outdoors this Memorial Day weekend. Anti-allergy nasal spray can help you overcome seasonal triggers like tree/grass pollen, mold spores and even indoor irritants like mold and pet dander. And don't forget the Boogie Wipes!
For everything you and your family need to stay healthy, shop at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
We’re hosting an exclusive Facebook giveaway for Avène! You could enter to win an Avène bundle, to stay sun safe year-round with your FSA!
We’re hosting an exclusive Facebook giveaway for Avène! You could enter to win anAvène bundle, which consists of the following products:
-Mineral High Protectin Tinted Compact SPF 50+ - Beige
-Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ (face & body)
-Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ (face)
-Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+ - Travel Size(body)
Did you know your Flexible Spending Account covers products including sunscreen with an SPF 15+? It does, and one sunscreen brand, Avène, is sold at FSAstore.com.
Learn more about Avène
Stay sun safe year round with your Flexible Spending Account. Avèneis not only ultra light, but this 100% mineral sunscreen provides broad spectrum sun protection from UVA and UVB filders. Avène is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. It also contains powerful antioxidant and soothing relief through AvèneThermal Spring Water. ThisAvène sunscreen provides water resistance for up to 80 minutes and hydration. It's suitable for sensitive skin (allergenic, as well) and for the entire family (babies 6 months and up).Avène is paraben-free, fragrance-free, oil-free and chemical filter-free.
It's recommended that sunscreen is applied both generously and at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Sunscreen should also be re-applied every two hours, or after 80 minutes of swimming or perspiring.
How can you enter to win the Avène sunscreen bundle?
Likeus on Facebook and following the instructions for the Avène sunscreen bundlegiveaway. The photo submission with the most “likes” wins (all photos will be uploaded to an album created by us, where the winning photo can be voted on), so it’s greatto get your family and friends voting for yourphoto. We can’t wait to seewhat you’ll share with us on Facebook.Thecontest is open to U.S. residents only.
This contest ends December 19 at 5 pm ET! We look forward to your submissions! Do you think someone else would be able to benefit from the contest? Share it with a friend! Good luck to all!
Learn about ways that you can control the mosquito populations near your home and prevent mosquito bites this summer.
Each year, we hear frightening news stories about cases of West Nile virus and encephalitis and do what we can to stay healthy, but with the emergence of dangerous mosquito-borne pathogens like the Zika virus in the southern U.S., it's more important than ever to protect you and your loved ones from this seasonal threat. However, your summer preparations should go beyond just bug spray! Mosquito population levels are heavily contingent on the environment in which they live, and the layout of your home and yard could be helping them thrive inadvertently!
Remove all standing water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in puddles and any other location that features some kind of standing water.If you have any overturned buckets or pots that are allowed to collect rainwater in your yard, this is all the opening that these insects need to breed. As summer kicks off, take a closer look at your yard and check spaces like gutters for proper drainage and any garden items that can collect water and empty them out to eliminate a large majority of the mosquitoes in the vicinity.
Grow mosquito-repellent plants
If you have a deck or other outdoor area that your family uses often, try to frame this area with planters filled with plants that repel mosquitoes naturally. Some of the most easy to grow and care for include citronella grasses, catnip, marigolds, ageratum and horsemint. These plants have particular aromas that mosquitoes strictly avoid, which can make for a less-buggy environment outdoors.
If you've ever walked into a store and felt that cool breeze of air above you in the doorway, you've walked through an air curtain! These devices are extremely helpful for home mosquito control purposes, and they can be mounted above doorways and around outdoor living spaces to deter mosquitoes and other insects from entering these areas. Mosquitoes prefer still air and generally avoid windy conditions, and air curtains also double as an energy saver when mounted above doorways to prevent indoor air loss.
Your outdoor lighting choices may also have a major impact on the density of mosquito populations around your home. While LED lights do emit some blue light that attracts mosquitoes, they emit very little light in the ultraviolet spectrum and less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs. Best of all, LEDs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, so they are a great energy saver. While they will not completely prevent the attraction of bugs, they can make your outdoor areas more comfortable - and sustainable to boot!
Shop for sunscreen with insect repellent
This summer, protect your family all summer long with sunscreen with insect repellent and thousands of other FSA-eligible products at FSAstore.com! It's your money, use it to support the health and well-being of your loved ones!
As temperatures rise this summer, it's important to monitor your child's outdoor activity in terms of keeping them sun safe.
As temperatures rise this summer, it's important to monitor your child's outdoor activity in terms of sun safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a few tips to consider when you're thinking of sun safety and heat-related illnesses.
According to an article by the CDC, "Heat-related illness happens when the body's temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention."
In the article, the CDC also cautions to never leave children, infants, or pets in a parked car (even with the windows open), to minimize outdoor activity at peak sun times (go out in the early morning and evening instead, if you have that flexibility), keep cool with cool showers and baths, and dress children and infants in appropriate light-colored and sun protective clothing. These are just a few preventive measures to minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses and to keep everyone in your family sun safe.
The CDC further stresses, "Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors."
If you know you'll be out and in the sun for a few hours or at least part of the day, apply and re-apply sunscreen as much as possible. It's recommended that you wear sunscreen on your face every day - even on days where the sun isn't out. Other ways to stay sun safe may include seeking shade, bringing umbrellas and wearing protective clothing and wearing hats, if in direct sunlight for longer periods of time. If you'll be in or near water at any time, be sure to reapply sunscreen after you or your kids leave the water.
Shop for all your summer healthy product needs at FSAstore.com!
If you're in the market for new prescription sunglasses, be sure to check out FSAstore.com. Learn how to choose the best sun protective sunglasses.
As much as we look at sunglasses as the perfect fashion accessory or to shield your eyes from glare on a sunny day, your shades play a vital role in protecting your eyes from sun damage. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can not only damage the skin of the eyelid, but it can also cause long-term damage to the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye, as well as contributing to the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration over time.
Luckily, if you're in the market for a pair of prescription sunglasses, they are eligible for reimbursement with your flexible spending account (FSA)! But as much as you pay attention to style, don't forget about sun protective sunglasses!
Here are a few buying tips to keep in mind from FSAstore.com when you shop (and get $25 off an order of $100+) for sun protective sunglasses:
UV Protection Level
When shopping for sunglasses, be sure to look for a pair that features 99 to 100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays (also called broad spectrum protection), the two wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation that contribute to sunburns, skin cancer and long-term eye damage. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, less than half of Americans check whether their new sunglasses will protect against UV light, so this is a smart habit to get into for your long-term eye health.
It's important to note that no single color shade will make a tangible difference in improving UV protection, even in the case of darker shades as well. These lenses do not block out more sun, but rather, they create more color contrast which may be helpful for some people see more clearly while playing sports or driving long distances. Ultimately, this should be left up to your personal preferences!
Bigger is better when it comes to a pair of sunglasses' ability to block out harmful UV rays, so if you'll be spending many hours in direct sunlight, it may be better to opt for a pair of oversized or wrap-around sunglasses that will provide better protection from the sun. Ideally, look for a pair that will line up with your brow to prevent stray light from entering the eyes, and one that can prevent salt, sand and other particulates from damaging the eyes as well.
Polarized ≠ UV Protection
While polarized lenses have become extremely popular for their ability to reduce glare on water and other reflective surfaces, they do not contribute to the blockage of UV rays from entering the eye. Always be mindful of this when shopping for sunglasses, as they may be able to help you see more clearly, but the product's UV protection rating is the pivotal factor to keep in mind.
If you're in the market for new prescription sunglasses, be sure to check out FSAstore.com! We have partnered with Glasses.com to give our customers more eyeglass and sunglass options from popular manufacturers like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Coach, Burberry and more! Come explore the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products and maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
Protect your skin from the sun this summer. Learn how SPF 30 sunscreen can reduce your skin cancer risk and hear about research.
The month of May is jam-packed with health observances, ranging from arthritis to high blood pressure awareness campaigns, but a condition that is all too easy to overlook is the risk of skin cancer. May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology, and as the month kicks off, promising new research in the field has shed light on just how pivotal sunscreen use can be in preventing skin cancer.
Learn about La Roche-Posay's Skin Checker #SaveOurSkin Campaign
Shop for La Roche-Posay
The effectiveness of SPF 30
A new study from Ohio State University that was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in April 2016 shed light on the efficacy of common sun protection products. The researchers developed a mouse model that would not only test the ability of sunscreen to prevent burns, but also to prevent melanoma, a potentially life-threatening skin condition.
The mice were genetically engineered to develop melanoma after 26 weeks after the chemical 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4OHT) was applied to the skin. Next, the mice would be exposed to a single dose of UVB light (the light most dangerous to the skin), and most would develop melanoma and associated tumors in the following weeks.
With this model in place, the researchers then tested a number of sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, which protects against UVB radiation. Amazingly, all of the SPF 30 sunscreens tested delayed the onset of melanoma and the development of tumors by a staggering 80 percent.
However, the study was not without its shortcomings - researchers were only able to test UVB rays on the mice, and not the full spectrum of UV radiation that could adversely affect a person's skin cancer risk. Ultimately, studies like these can help manufacturers better refine their products to not only block out UV rays, but provide long-term protection against skin cancer development.
The importance of regular sunscreen use
It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime, which makes it the most common form of cancer in America today, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Studies like the one conducted at Ohio State reveal just how damaging the sun's rays can be and the importance of regular sunscreen use when spending extended time outdoors.
As summer kicks off, make sure that you and your family are protected from the sun's rays all season long by shopping for sun care products at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to keep you and loved ones healthy year-round.
At FSAstore.com, we even recently launched our new Dermatological Sun Care category with top brands such as La Roche-Posay, Vichy and MDSolarSciences.
As warmer weather approaches and you get ready for spring and summer adventures, don't forget to include to wear sunscreen before you go out! Often, people think that sunscreen is unnecessary on a cloudy day, or that applying sunscreen doesn't help unless you're exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, but that's simply not the case.
Fortunately these are myths, and there's more good news: your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) covers Broad Spectrum, SPF15+ sunscreens, so you can protect your skin. At FSAstore.com, we even recently launched our new Dermatological Sun Care category with top brands such as La Roche-Posay, Vichy and MDSolarSciences.
These are dermatologist-recommended sun care products that are also water resistant and suitable for every day wear. MDSolarSciences sunscreens are mineral broad spectrum sunscreens. Want to take a further look at Dermatological Sun Care? Browse the category and get ready for warmer temperatures with your FSA!
Let's explore three questions about sun care and matching dermatological sun care options:
1) "I don't need to apply sunscreen if an area of my body isn't directly exposed to sunlight, right?" This is actually wrong. According to WebMD, "The average T-shirt offers an SPF of about 7. Darker fabrics and tighter weaves provide more protection, but it is much safer to apply sunscreen to your entire body before you get dressed. Or better yet, wear clothing made of UV protective fabrics."
2) "I need the highest SPF to protect my skin, I think?" According to WebMD, this is myth, as a sun protection factor of 100 should be twice as protective as SPF 50. But it's only a few percentage points more effective. An SPF of 15 screens 93% of the sun's rays and an SPF of 30 screens 97%."
In addition, WebMD mentioned that you should re-apply sunscreen a few times, if you're exposed to direct sunlight a few hours at a time, and apply it your face no matter what the weather is like that day. If you're going swimming or get sweaty, you should re-apply sunscreen, as well.
3) I found a bottle from last year. I can still use that, right?
Wrong! Though sunscreens may not expire every year, you should be applying it enough so that you don't need to use last year's sunscreen supply.
Sun protection is a major consideration for parents. Learn more about the safest sunscreen for kids on this blog post and shop with an FSA.
Spring may seem early to begin talking about proper sun care, but if you have small children, protecting their skin from the sun's rays will take on a new importance as they spend more time outdoors as the season progresses. Sun protection is a major consideration for parents, as recent studies have shown that sustaining just five major sunburns during youth can raise a child's risk of developing life-threatening skin cancers like melanoma by 80 percent.
Sunburns are caused by the skin's absorption of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which are present whether it's sunny or cloudy, reaching their peak levels between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and are directly tied to the formation of skin cancer. Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit can cover the reimbursement of sunscreen for the whole family. Here are some vital guidelines to consider when choosing a sunscreen for your kids.
Keep babies out of the sun entirely: First things first, if you are a parent of a child younger than 6 months, you should be searching for ways to cover him/her up rather than purchasing a sunscreen! Physicians advise new parents to keep their infants out of sunlight completely if they are under 6 months of age, as sunburn can cause significant pain, fever and even dehydration in newborns, as well as dramatically raising their susceptibility to skin issues later in life. Keep the baby's arms and legs covered in light-colored, lightweight clothing and stick to the shade during his/her first 6 months.
Shop for Baby Sunscreen
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher: A sunscreen's sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the item's ability to prevent UV rays from harming the skin, which is a huge consideration for small children who will experience long periods of sun exposure. For instance, if a person's skin can remain unprotected in the sun for 30 minutes without burning, an SPF 15 product will theoretically protect the wearer for 15 times longer, or for 7.5 hours. SPF 15 is the bare minimum for a child's sun care regimen, so feel free to go for a stronger variant for very young children or kids with skin that is more susceptible to sunburn.
Broad spectrum protection: The classification of "broad spectrum" refers to sunscreens that block all forms of ultraviolet rays. UV radiation is broken up into two primary wavelengths: UVA (long-wave) and UVB (short-wave) radiation. UVA and UVB rays contribute to premature skin aging, eye damage and most skin cancers, and UVA rays make up about 95 percent of all UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface, while the other 5 percent is UVB rays. While UVB rays are the chief cause of sunburn and damage the outermost layers of the skin, UVA rays can penetrate down to the dermis level and can spark the development of some skin cancers. Simply put, if it's not "broad spectrum," it won't do the job!
Shop for Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Water resistance: Sunscreen that can stand up to water during swimming or sweat during heavy activity is a major concern for the product's efficacy, especially with active children. The Federal Drug Administration has ruled that sunscreens that are considered "water-resistant" will continue protect wearers for at least 40 minutes after application. Because no sunscreen is 100 percent waterproof, it's vital that wearers re-apply throughout the day to maintain a full spectrum of protection.
Shop for Water-Resistant Sunscreen
With a long summer of fun in the sun ahead, make sure to support the wellness of your entire family by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your benefits!
Wondering about sun safety during the year? Read our post about 5 outdoor sun safety tips for winter on the FSAstore.com blog.
WearSun Protection lip balm
Lips can become chapped very easily during the winter months with dry air, wind and snow constantly pelting your face. This skin is very sensitive and can dry out and burn very easily after being exposed to sunlight, so make sure to wear a lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher with moisturizing benefits to support the underlying skin.
Shop for SPF Lip Balm at FSAstore.com
Use broad spectrum sunscreen - and re-apply!
During extended time outdoors, make sure to use broad spectrum sunscreen that can safeguard skin against UVA and UVB radiation, which is the source of sunburns and aids in the development of skin cancer. Use a sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, and apply 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Be aware that snow and strong winds can reduce the efficacy of sunscreen, so re-apply every 2 hours.
Shop for Broad Spectrum Sunscreen at FSAstore.com
Shop our Dermatological Sunscreens
Use moisturizing sun protection
The winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin, which can lead to dry, peeling and painful skin that can linger throughout the season. When shopping for sunscreens, make sure you pick one with moisturizing ingredients, such as lanolin or glycerin. This is an easy way to support your skin health and stay protected from UV rays.
Shop for Aveeno at FSAstore.com
Cover exposed skin
Because of cold temperatures, there's a good chance that most of your skin will be covered throughout winter. However, there are some trouble spots to keep in mind. First, make an effort to cover your head to protect your scalp from sun damage, as well as wearing sunglasses or goggles that can block out 99 percent or greater of UV rays. The skin around the eyes is a common site for skin cancers and sun-inducted aging, so make sure this area is protected all winter long.
Be mindful of reflected UV rays
Many skiers and snowboarders have learned the hard way about the reflective nature of snow and ice, as about 80 percent of UV rays will reflect back up to the nose and face and can cause sunburns. As such, it's vital to apply sunscreen to parts of the body we would normally overlook, such as underneath the nose and chin where those reflective rays will hit. Of course, always remember to re-apply every few hours to maintain your skin's sun protection.
Improve your sun care regimen and make the most of your healthcare benefits at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to keep you and your family healthy year-round.
In what ways can you use an FSA? Do you need sunscreen? Use an FSA for sunscreen and discover fun activities!
Many people choose sunscreen based on the SPF number, but there's a lot more that goes into selecting the correct sunscreen for you. It seems logical to choose a sunscreen based on the numbers alone, but after you reach SPF 30, there is only a marginally difference in sun protection after that.
Using a Flexible Spending Account for Sunscreen
Did you know you can buy sunscreen with a Flexible Spending Account? Save by using your account and get ready for whichever summer activity comes your way!
A huge thing to consider is the kind of activity you are doing when you're outdoors. Different sunscreen options provide additional protection or features for the activity you're getting ready for.
If you're headed out to the beach, you'll want to find a high-SPF chemical block. You'll also want sunscreen with avobenzone, which is the only chemical that absorbs the entirety of the UVA spectrum. If you choose a spray sunscreen, which is easier for applying, keep in mind that half of it often floats away with the breeze. Try holding the bottle only an inch or two away from your skin, spraying for about two seconds per area, and then rubbing it in.
For playing outdoor sports like tennis or beach volleyball, find sunscreen that covers a broad spectrum and is water resistant, since you'll sweat some of the protection off. Go for chemical formulas like avobenzone and oxybenzone which won't clump and forms a film on the skin that absorbs UV radiation before it can cause damage.
You'll also want to find a sunscreen that is water-resistant if you're going to the pool or planning on diving into the ocean at the beach. Studies have shown that water-resistant sunscreens can be less effective in chlorine pools than in sea salt water since chemicals in chlorinated water can disintegrate essential ingredients. Make sure to reapply often when headed to the pool, and dry off with a towel before reapplying.
You can get a great deal of sun exposure even on your daily commute. Whether you're biking, walking, driving, or taking public transportation, your skin is bathed in sun while getting to and from work. All the time spent commuting adds up after a while and your skin can suffer sun damage without protection. In addition, your office might have a huge window with sunlight streaming in.
It's smart to wear sunscreen on a daily basis to ensure full protection. One way to do this is to buy skincare and makeup products with SPF built into the serum. That way it's incorporated into your morning routine and you never leave forgetting to apply sunscreen. In addition to your face, you'll also want to protect your neck and upper chest area.
Shop for MDSolarSciences mineralsunscreens!
We all use sunscreen to protect ourselves from the sun, but it can be difficult to understand the differences between sunscreens. Learn more about sun care.
We all use sunscreen in the summer to protect ourselves from the sun, but it can be difficult to understand the difference between various sunscreens. What does it mean for them to have extra vitamins and what does SPF stand for? Unlocking the secrets behind what is on the label will help you make the best sunscreen purchase with your Flexible Spending Account.
What Does SPF Stand for?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and the number corresponds to theoretical amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. The lowest number you’ll probably see for a decent sunscreen is SPF 15, which increases the amount of time you can stay out in the sun by a factor of 15.
In practice though, a lot of factors can influence and decrease the amount of time. For example, if you’re at the beach or working out, fluids like ocean water and sweat can wash off the sunscreen and leave you exposed. Invest in waterproof sunscreen if you plan to go into water or engage in rigorous exercise. Applying sunscreen unevenly or not reapplying frequently enough can also leave you at risk for overexposure. People with fairer skin or a history of skin cancer in the family may be at higher risk.
How much of a difference does a higher SPF sunscreen do?
An SPF 30 sunscreen isn’t twice as good as an SPF 15 sunscreen. An SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays. Thus, sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offers 100% protection.
What Does it Mean When a Sunscreen is Waterproof?
No sunscreen is completely waterproof or water-resistant, but the FDA considers a product "water-resistant" if it maintains its SPF level after 40 minutes of water exposure. A product is considered "waterproof" if it maintains its SPF level following 80 minutes of exposure to water. These sunscreens typically have a rich base of plant oils and beeswax which are naturally water resistant.
What are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and why are they in my sunscreens?
The ultraviolet rays given off by the sun are separated into two types: UVA and UVB. Regular sunscreens and the SPF amount you see only accounts for UVB rays which are known to cause sunburns. Additional ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect a person against UVA rays which cause deeper skin damage. Unlike UVB’s SPF though, there is no measurement for how effective these ingredients are at protecting you against UVA rays.
Can you buy baby sunscreen with an FSA? Learn 5 tips for baby sun protection, and discover if sunscreen is covered by an FSA (and which brands are covered).
An article posted on Baby Center offers great tips to keep your baby sun safe.
5 tips to keep your baby sun safe:
1. Avoid direct sun exposure before your baby is at least six months old. You'll be going outside, but take all the protective measures to avoid a sun burn or too much exposure, as best you can.
2. Keep track of the sun's intensity. The sun rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so enjoy the outdoors in the early morning or go out after 4 pm. Sun UV rays can also bounce off of sand, snow, water, cement, and can even affect the skin on cloudy days, so proper protection is importanton any given day.
3. Dress your baby accordingly. Be sure to cover your baby in lightweight clothing that easily breathes and is also light in color (anything dark absorbs heat, while lighter colors reflect it). Protect your baby's head with a wide-brimmed hat (to also protect the ears and neck) and sunglasses.
4. Create shade andadditional layers of protection.You can use your baby's stroller and its sunshade for added sun safety, or even get a pop-up stroller shade.Baby Center adds that there are specific sun tents with built-in UV protection that you could consider, as well, if you know you're headed to the beach or the park.Baby Center also suggests, "Try to keep your baby in the shade – under a tree or umbrella, for example. You may be surprised to learn that shade provides only partial protection against UV rays. Without sunscreen or other protection, even a baby in the shade can get sunburned."
5. Apply broad spectrum, baby sunscreen. If you're not sure about your sunscreen's shelf life, buy new sunscreens to ensure their effectiveness. Baby's skin is very delicate, and needs adequate protection and a baby sunscreen can help with that. You'll want to apply it about 30 minutes before heading out the door, and also reapply it to cover any exposed areas every few hours. If you'll be in the water, you'll want to reapply sunscreen immediately after toweling off.
Can I buy baby sunscreen with an FSA? What brands?
A lot of brands have designed baby sunscreens that are gentler on the skin and often mineral based to ensure that babies are only protected and not harmed by sunscreen. FSAstore.com offers many different options for baby sunscreen, eligible with your Flexible Spending Account.
Here is a top 5 of eligible sunscreens at FSAstore.com:
Aveeno Baby Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 55 combines patented Active Photobarrier Complex™, which maintains broad spectrum protection over time, with natural skin soothing oatmeal. It's waterproof, fragrance free, and prevents moisture loss.
Shop for Aveeno
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 60 also provides superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with Purescreen, a blend of naturally-sourced sunscreen ingredients. It also comes in stick form, and one specifically for the face with SPF 50.
BabyGanics emphasizes moisturizing in addition to sun protection with its mineral based SPF 50 lotion, for use on both face and body. Also waterproof and fragrance free and comes in spray or stick form. If you're constantly on the go, BabyGanics provides small single use sunscreen packs.
Shop for BabyGanics
Blue Lizard is a chemical free and fragrance free formula with SPF 30. This sunscreen can also be used by adults with sensitive skin. It comes in a special bottle that turns pink when exposed to UV rays. FSAstore.com carries them in 4 different sizes: 1.25 fl oz, 3 fl oz, 5 fl oz, 8.75 fl oz.
Shop for Blue Lizard
Baby Blanket Kids Sport Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 70 is waterproof for up to 80 minutes. It is specially formulated with Titanium Dioxide, a natural UV blocker, for babies and adults with skin sensitive to sunburn. There are three variations of the product specifically for babies: sunscreen stick with SPF 45, continuous spray sunscreen lotion with SPF 50, and sunscreen lotion with SPF 50.
Coppertone Water Babies Quick Spray with SPF 50 is the #1 pediatrician recommended brand with a mild formula that won't irritate or sting a baby's delicate skin.