Miami got them in 2015, Boston got them last year, and now New York City is teaming up with the skin cancer prevention company Bright Guard and the non-profit IMPACT Melanoma to install 100 free sunscreen dispensers at beaches across the city’s five boroughs. Each dispenser will house 1 liter of water-resistant SPF 30 sunscreen that beach goers can slather on to protect against the summer’s harsh rays.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), even just one blistering sunburn as a child or adolescent can nearly double your chance of developing melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer. The city hopes free and readily available lotion will help decrease the amount of skin cancer diagnosis. (One in five Americans are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer.)
The AAD found that wearing a sunscreen daily can cut the incidence of melanoma in half. And don’t skimp on cloudy days either, the US National Weather Service states that “clear skies allow virtually 100% of UV rays to pass through, scattered clouds transmit 89%, broken clouds transmit 73%, and overcast skies transmit 31%.”
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sun damage causes an estimated 90 percent of skin aging, too. “Sunscreen is the best, and probably cheapest, anti-aging cream you can buy,” says Joshua Zeichner, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Look for broad-spectrum formulas with an SPF 30 or higher to ensure you’re blocking all types of rays. Since most people don’t apply the correct amount to properly protect, a higher SPF will help keep you covered even when you may have skimped.