With the mercury rising to record-breaking levels all over North America this week -- and yummies everywhere getting hot under the collar -- it's more important than ever to slap on the SPF. But how do you know if you're getting enough, often enough? Many of us are guilty of simply blobbing on the cream and hoping for the best.
Thankfully, Information is Beautiful's David McCandless has done the dirty work for you. Confused and tired of guessing just how much sunscreen was required, and how often, he began looking at studies and doing research of his own. One question led to another, and then another...
"Four months later," he says, "I emerged blinking from the soup of information surrounding sunscreen, ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer, drenched in knowledge."
The somewhat pale-skinned McCandless admits he "really should get out more". Perhaps he'd better wait until the current heat wave subsides, though.
Other tips for staying cool and collected during the melt, courtesy of the Red Cross:
Avoid being outdoors in the hottest part of the day, between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try going out in the early morning or later evening when the sun is not as strong.
Slow down activities that make you hot. Work and exercise in brief periods.
Take frequent breaks.
Dress in light, loose clothing, and wear a hat.
Drink plenty of cool fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
The following diagram illustrates his findings. Further information is available at: informationisbeautiful.net.