Summer is here and it is hot. The sun is out and shining, but that means you need to be prepared. The sun, no matter how great it is, can be damaging to your skin. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes. Extended exposure can even lead to skin cancer, but most of the forms of skin cancer are preventable. The key to preventing sun damage is being prepared and aware. This list will show you simple, easy tricks to avoid skin damage.
The golden rule to sunscreen is to apply daily. Do not skimp on coverage. Dr. Allison Authur did a study with the Mayo Clinic that put two different groups of people to the test. One group applied sunscreen on all exposed areas, such as earn, nose, and neck, and the other group only applied sunscreen as they felt was needed. Authur explains the results of the study, ”After 4.5 years, the group that wore sunscreen only when they thought they needed it had a significant increase in brown spots and fine lines. But the daily sunscreen group showed no detectable signs of skin aging.”
When shopping for sunscreens look for FDA approved ingredients like colorants. You want a strong SPF rating as well, look for 30 or higher. You also want to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect you for the other types of rays, UVA, that can cause skin damage.
Using sunscreen does not mean applying only once, you must reapply throughout the day. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends SPF 30 or higher to be reapplied every two hours. Reapply even more often if you are swimming frequently, as the water could wash away the sunscreen.
Avoid Peak Times
Even with sunscreen, it is advised to avoid being in direct sunlight between 10am and 2pm when the sun is highest. Start your sun activities either early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid the most sun exposure.
Sun Protection Items
Additionally, consider using a hat or a sun shirt when outside for long periods of time. A sun shirt is an ultra lightweight shirt that is designed to protect the upper half of your body from sun damage. A hat can be used to prevent your scalp from exposure and your face from getting burned.These clothing options can save you from sun damage by covering exposed skin. These items should be used in addition to sunscreen, since sunscreen can wear off.
The Clouds Are Liars
Do not be fooled by the clouds, they only feign protection. You can still get a sunburn even when you can’t see the sun because the ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds. Simply because it is overcast outside, doesn’t means you can skip the sunscreen.
The moral of the story when it comes to sun protection, sunscreen is the way to go. Reapply frequently to keep yourself covered. Do not be fooled by the clouds, they will not protect you from UV rays.