As the weather warms and the sun becomes more prominent, we usually like to take advantage of the seasonal change and get outside more often. And while sunshine is important to help our bodies produce vitamin D, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from the sun. Reductions in the ozone layer have made the sun more damaging than it was for earlier generations. To ensure you enjoy the warm weather, but also stay safe, we’ve put together a list of four tips for protecting your skin this summer.
Prolonged, direct exposure to the sun is far more dangerous than any of the chemicals that you’ll find in sunscreen. You should wear sunscreen anytime you go outdoors – whether it’s sunny or not. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB with an SPF between 30 and 50. Apply it a half hour before you go into the sun and reapply it if you sweat a lot or get wet.
Avoid The Midday Sun
The sun is most damaging when it’s at its strongest. This is generally between 10am and 4pm. Scheduling outdoor activities outside of this time window will minimize the damaging effects of the midday sun.
Wear Protective Clothing
If you need to be outdoors between 10am and 4pm this summer, it’s important to protect your skin with appropriate clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and sunglasses. Light colours will protect you better than dark colours. There are now lines of UV protective clothing that feature densely woven materials which block up to 98% of UV rays.
Avoid Sun Tanning
In the 1960s and 70s, sun tanning was virtually a sport. Every half hour, summertime radio announcers would tell you it was “turnover time” to help ensure you received the “perfect” tan. Times have changed. And although there are still many people who love sun tanning, there’s a price that’s paid for such a pursuit. It’s a fact that prolonged sun exposure causes irreversible skin damage. Wrinkles will appear earlier, sunspots will crop up and in worst-case scenarios, skin cancer will result. Avoid sun tanning to reduce the possibility of it occurring to you.