By now it should be common knowledge that the sun can permanently damage skin. This damage ranges from the unpleasant discomfort of a sunburn to the sometimes fatal diagnosis of skin cancer. No matter what the consequence, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun.
Avoid the Sun
The best way to protect your skin from the sun is to just avoid it. This, however, is easier said than done. The worst times to be outside in the sun is the afternoon, so if possible, plan your day around this. Get outside chores like gardening done in the morning when the sun is lower or in the evening. This way you can pick parts of the garden that are more in shade to work in.
If you plan on going to the park or the beach, find locations that have plenty of shade. If there is no shade, make your own. There are many beach umbrellas or even pop-up tents that you can bring to create your own shade.
Sunscreen is important and while many people understand it, sunscreen is not often used correctly. Start with a powerful sunscreen. Choose one that has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. Also make sure that it is broad-spectrum, which protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun. Sunscreen needs time to bond together to protect you. If you’re going to the beach, it’s best to apply it before you get in the car and not when you arrive at the water. Then, be sure to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours.
If you do plan on swimming or think you will be particularly sweaty, choose sunscreen that is water resistant. This type is better at staying on.
If you’re worried about chemicals in sunscreen, there are now a number or natural, mineral-based sunscreens that are not only better for you and the environment, but they offer the same protections levels.
Exposed skin burns. Make sure to wear a hat in sunny weather as the scalp is often left unprotected. Hair can only cover so much, and if you have fine or thin hair, then it won’t offer as much protection. Long sleeved shirts can seem out of place in the summer, but a loose-fitting, white cotton shirt will keep you cool and protect your skin from the sun. The latest fashions might make you look good, but it won’t always protect you from the sun.