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Miami Beach Unveils Free Sunscreen Stations

Miami Beach Installs Free Sunscreen Dispensers Miami Beach Installs Free Sunscreen Dispensers (Photo: Joe Raedle/GettyImages)
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Whether you forget to slather it on before you head out into the sun or discover you didn't bring sunscreen with you when it's time to reapply, you may as well send an engraved invitation to the sun to damage your skin. Either that or call it a day and head back home. 

Unless you're in Miami Beach, that is, where you can get a healthy hit of sunscreen for free at one of the city's 50 new public sunscreen dispensers. Located at public pools and parks and near lifeguard stands on the beach, the sunscreen dispensers carry MB Miami Beach SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection, the city's official line of sun care products. The water-resistant formula includes sea kelp to help protect skin from aging. 

The sunscreen dispensers are sponsored by the Miami-based Mount Sinai Medical Center and Destination Brands in an effort to reduce the city's rising skin cancer rates and also to commemorate the city's upcoming centennial. A portion of the proceeds from the MB Miami Beach line go toward beach clean-up efforts and sun protection education.

Earlier this summer, Boston began a similar initiative as a pilot program in partnership with the Melanoma Foundation of New England. On July 1, the city installed 30 sunscreen dispensers in five parks — Boston Common, Christopher Columbus Park, East Boston Memorial Park, Jamaica Pond and Millennium Park. If successful, the program may expand to other areas of the city.

The bright yellow sunscreen dispensers in the Boston-area contain an organic SPF 30 sunscreen that's safe for people age 6 months and older. The sunscreen ingredients are printed on the machines and also are available upon request.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. About 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. ACS predicts melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 before going outside — even on cloudy or cool days. When you apply sunscreen, pay special attention to the places people most often miss: tops of feet, ears, scalp and lips. The CDC also recommends re-upping every two hours as well as after swimming, sweating or toweling off.