Between the warm weather and the long days, it’s no wonder people spend so much time outdoors in the summer. However, all the extra time outside leaves your skin exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. Luckily, you don’t have to become a hermit and stay indoors on sunny days to avoid sun damage. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your skin from the sun while still being able to enjoy the great outdoors.
Follow the Rules About Sunscreen
Everyone knows that sunscreen can help guard your skin from the damaging UVA and UVB rays of the sun but few people follow all the guidelines. Take a peek at this list to refresh your memory on how the make sunscreen most effective:
- Check the Sunscreen Stats – Look for a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. While some sunscreens may keep you from getting sunburned, they won’t necessarily protect you from skin cancer. UVA rays are primarily known for causing premature aging and wrinkles while UVB rays cause sunburns and are closely linked to melanoma.
- Remember the Shot Glass Rule – It may seem like a lot, but you should apply at least an ounce of sunscreen to protect your whole body. That equals the size of a shot glass.
- Apply Before You Go Outside – It’s recommended that you put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before you step into the sun.
- Reapply, Reapply, Reapply – One application of sunscreen doesn’t last all day. In fact, it only lasts for about two hours and that’s only if you’re staying dry. Both swimming and sweating cause sunscreen to wear off more quickly and you should reapply every hour in those cases.
- Don’t Forget Your Lips – While regular sunscreen on your lips sounds greasy and unpleasant, you can buy a lip balm with sunscreen to keep your pout safe from the sun.
Wear Sun Protective Clothing
Of course, the best way to protect your skin from the sun is to not even expose it. Sun protective clothing limit the amount of rays to reach your skin.
- Start with the Right Outfit – Although it may sound counter-intuitive to wear long sleeves and pants on a warm day, it’s actually a great way to protect your skin. Choose tightly woven fabric and opt for dark colors for optimal protection as light colored and loosely woven textures allow more sun rays to penetrate the clothing. To go the extra mile, you can even purchase clothes made out of sun protective material.
- Accessorize with a Summer Hat – Your scalp is just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your skin. Protect the top of your head as well as your face and shoulders with a fashionable sun hat. Not only will you look fabulous with a floppy hat but your skin and scalp will thank you!
- Wear the Right Sunglasses – Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection will guard your eyes against sun damage.
Other Sun Protection Tips
- Avoid spending too much time outdoors between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, which is when the sun rays are the strongest. A basic rule of thumb is that if your shadow is shorter than you, then the sun rays are too strong to spend a prolonged period of time in.
- Be especially cautious around snow, water and sand, which have reflective surfaces and can cause damage more quickly.
- Even cloudy days can cause skin damage as up to 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate the cloud cover and reach your skin. While dark clouds may block some of the rays, clouds also have the ability to reflect the rays and make them stronger than even a sunny day. Be sure to wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun
If you follow these guidelines, you can still have a great time outdoors without sacrificing your health.