Ah, summer. It’s a glorious season filled with warm, long days basking in the sunlight. But are you taking the steps to protect your skin during these sun-kissed days?
Too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet, or UV, rays causes sunburn, eye damage and premature aging. UV rays caused by the sun and other sources are also the No. 1 cause of skin cancer. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stay safe in the sun.
First, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every time you go outside. Some sheer sunscreens also can be worn daily on the face alongside moisturizer. There are also larger spray sunscreens and body sun lotions.
It’s important to make sure you’re wearing the sunscreen properly and applying it to all of your exposed skin. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology looked at how 2,000 state fair attendees applied sunscreen and found only 33% of them applied it correctly. Many people applied sunscreen only on their face and arms, leaving their legs entirely exposed.
Second, reapply the sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. The chemicals in sunscreen begin to breakdown once applied, so in order for it to remain effective, you need to reapply it frequently.
Third, don’t rely on sunscreen alone. When spending time in the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protected sunglasses. Opt for light, breathable clothing that covers your shoulders and places that can easily get sunburned.
By taking the proper steps, you can stay safe spending time camping, hiking and lounging at the beach or pool this summer.