Protecting Yourself from the Sun

Protecting Yourself from the Sun

As the summer season approaches, most of us are really looking forward to taking advantage of the warmer weather by spending most of our time outdoors, enjoying fun activities or taking visits to the beach. While it is beneficial for you to head out after the gloomy winters, too much exposure of sunlight and heat can be troublesome for your skin. Statistics have shown that 90% of skin cancers are caused by excessive sun exposure.

Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, that is known to be potentially harmful for our skin and bodies. It contributes towards premature aging of skin, wrinkles, cataracts and even skin cancer. The extent of the damage caused depends greatly on the strength of sunlight, time of exposure and any protective measures you are using.

While sunlight is a major source of UV rays, it doesn’t mean that you can’t step outside throughout the summer. It wouldn’t be very healthy for you to stay inside for so long either, as it would prevent physical activity and limit your supply of fresh air. Since getting too much sun and heat is harmful, here are some ways you can limit your exposure to UV rays while also enjoying the summertime:

1. Look for Shade

The most obvious way of all is to avoid being in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Try avoiding the sunlight especially between 10 am and 4 pm, as the heat and UV rays are strongest during this time period.

2. Wear Protective Clothing

Although it is hard to remain covered when its so hot outside, there are some protective measures you must take for your wellbeing. Clothes tend to provide enough UV protection to prevent the skin from being damaged. Long-sleeved shirts, full length pants and long skirts are usually recommended. Additionally, dark colors can be more protective than light colors and tightly woven fabric is considered better than loosely woven ones.

3. Apply Sunscreen

Before stepping outside, it is recommended to apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes prior. When you’re looking for sunscreen, make sure that you purchase one with an SPF of at least 15. This helps ensure that you’re really protecting your skin from harmful UV ways. You should also ensure that it is water-resistant if you’re going swimming, and make sure to reapply after every few hours. An ounce of sunscreen should be enough to cover your face, neck, arms and legs.

4. Get New Hats

For the summer, one of the easiest ways to stay protected is by wearing a trendy hat. An ideal hat would be one with a 3-inch brim all around as it would cover and protect your ears, eyes, forehead, nose and the scalp.

5. Avoid Tanning Beds

While the majority of people believe that tanning beds are harmless, that is actually untrue. These beds or lamps produce both UVA and UVB rays that can cause long term skin damage while increasing the risk of developing skin cancer. Most dermatologists are strongly against tanning beds or sun lamps.

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