Soak Up Sunshine Safely This Summer
Summer is just around the corner and as the weather warms up, we can get anxious to go outside. The sunshine does act as a mood booster and increases levels of vitamin D. While there are several benefits going outside, it’s important to do it safely. For instance, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays are the main cause of skin cancer. UV rays can also cause eye damage, sunburn, and premature wrinkles.
Stay safe while soaking up the sunshine this summer by following these tips:
- Find or create shade. The shade is your friend between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Sit underneath a large tree, bring a beach umbrella, or find a covered pavilion to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors without direct sunlight.
- Buy proper protective gear. Choose sunglasses that protect from UVA and UVB rays and invest in a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, including your ears and eyes.
- Wear protective clothing. Though it may seem counterintuitive, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants, or a long skirt or beach cover-up, can help keep you cool and protect your skin from UV rays.
- Don’t use vitamin D as an excuse to stay in the sunshine. 10 minutes of sunlight exposure is all you need to satisfy your skin’s vitamin D needs. You can also consider taking vitamin supplements!
Applying sunscreen correctly is the most important thing you can do to protect your skin. Follow these tips to ensure you’re getting the most from your sunblock:
- Choose broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Apply a thick layer over all parts of your skin that will be exposed to sunlight at least 15 minutes before going outside, even on overcast days.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Don’t use expired sunscreen, or sunscreen that has been exposed to the heat for long periods (for example, if it was kept in the car all summer).
There are several reasons to be excited for the summer weather and just as many ways to safely enjoy it – such as protecting your skin now and for the future.