Sun Protection 101: 5 Ways to Stave off the Sunburn
Sunburn is a harsh reality of summer activities. To keep you and your kids safe this season, follow these five sun protection tips!
1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Spending time in the sun without protecting yourself puts you at a higher risk to be one of those people in that statistic.
Yet, you don't want to stop spending time in the sun. In reality, summers are for beach time, pool time, and going on long walks. Why would you stop doing that?
Well, you don't have to! You just have to make sure you use some type of sun protection when participating in any summer activity.
Keep reading to learn 5 ways to protect yourself from harsh sunburns and sun damage on your skin!
1. Use a High SPF Sunscreen
You walk into the drug store and see an entire array of sunscreen. Some say 15 SPF while others say 70. Which one is the best and why?
No matter what SPF you choose, sunscreens all work in the same way. Every sunscreen has active ingredients that either absorb or reflect UV rays before it reaches the skin barrier.
Because of this, sunscreen is not only used to protect you from sunburn, but also from skin aging and skin cancers.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for the sun protection factor. In simpler terms, it is the amount of protection you will get from the sunscreen, which usually also has a standard time before sunburn can affect you.
For instance, if you are someone who burns 10 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, wearing an SPF 30 sunscreen will give you on average 300 minutes before burning.
How Often Should I Reapply?
Although science says 300 minutes, there are many factors other than the simple SPF time that can factor into your skin burning:
- Fairness of the skin
- Hair color
- UV ray index
It is recommended that whatever SPF you are wearing, you should reapply every 2 hours. If you are jumping in and out of water or sweating a lot, you should reapply more frequently.
You know yourself best, so if you need to reapply every 30 minutes, you should do that to get the best sun protection you can! We recommend you use mineral sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens. Sunscreens that contain harsh chemicals can irritate your skin and are not good for the environment.
2. Wear Sun Protective Clothing
One of the best ways to reduce risk factors and better protect yourself from the sun is by wearing sun-protective clothing. You can do this whenever you're out in the sun, whether you are gardening, running, doing yoga, or swimming at the beach. UPF clothing is water-resistant.
Since many people under-apply sunscreen to their shoulders since they are in direct sunlight, this is a common area for burns.
Wearing a long sleeve sun shirt or a rash-guard can help prevent sunburn and harsh effects on the skin.
If you choose to wear a sun shirt or swim shirt, make sure you are applying sunscreen everywhere else that is exposed. Don't forget the backs of your hands and the back of your neck!
The sun is responsible for damaging the elastic fibers in our skin, which can cause premature aging. Most people don't like the appearance of wrinkles or saggy skin.
Well, you can prevent that!
When spending time in the sun, wearing a hat can protect your face from the sun. If you choose to wear a hat, you should still apply sunscreen just in case the sun is at an angle where it can hit your face.
3. Avoid Peak Hours
Depending on the state and the season, the sun's peak hours differ. However, it's extremely important to avoid the peak hours since this is where the sun is the harshest. At these hours, the sun is giving off the most sunlight, heat, and UV rays.
Most peak hours range between 10am and 4pm. To reduce your exposure to harsh sunlight, plan to sit by the pool before or after this peak exposure time. You'll still get to absorb some sunshine, but without as harsh of effects.
4. Bring an Umbrella With You to the Beach or Pool for Extra Sun Protection
When heading out to the pool or the beach, you may not know how long you plan to spend there. Sometimes a few hours feels good and sometimes after 30 minutes you want to be in the cool air.
Bringing an umbrella with you can get you out of the sun when you think you are getting too much. It can also be a great idea to spend most of your time in the shade anyways. You'll still be getting the relaxing effects of being outside, but you are protecting yourself from the sun.
If you forget the umbrella, you can find a tree that provides shade or any other shady area to set up camp.
5. Wear Sunglasses
Although sunglasses won't protect your body from sunburn, they will protect your eyes from getting too much UV light. Getting too much sunlight directly into your eyes can cause some short-term effects, but there are also many long-term effects of letting your eyes have too much harsh sunlight:
- Macular Degeneration
- Cancer around or within the eyes
To protect yourself from eye conditions down the road or sunburn on your eyelids, wearing sunglasses with UV protection can help.
Fight Off The Sunburn This Summer
With these sun protection tips, you should have a summer without sunburn ahead of you!
It's more important than ever to start protecting your skin now to prevent skin cancer in the future.
Check out all of our clothes and sun protection items on our site to protect yourself. Whether you're protecting yourself from the sun while running or simply swimming in the ocean, we have everything you'll need.