Path To Improved HealthThe sun sends invisible UV rays to Earth. These rays can cause damage to your skin if you don’t protect against them. The safest way to protect yourself from sun damage is to stay out of the sun. If possible, stay inside during the peak sun hours (from late morning until late afternoon). If you need to be outside, though, here are some tips for both adults and children on how to stay sun safe.
Look for ShadeStay in the shade while outside. Set up your picnic under a tree or in a shelter. Relax on the beach under a large umbrella.
Put on SunscreenSunscreen contains ingredients that protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. It comes in lotion or spray-on forms. Sunscreen is rated by its sun protection factor (SPF). The higher the SPF number, the greater the protection from sunburn the sunscreen has. And the longer it will last after application.
If you have sunscreen at home, check the expiration date before you use it. Don’t use it if it’s expired. Replace all sunscreen after 3 years.
When purchasing sunscreen, look for one that:
- Offers an SPF of 15 or more.
- Is marked as broad spectrum. This will protect you from UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Most sunscreens are broad spectrum.
- Is water-resistant if you will be in the water or sweating a lot.
You even need sunscreen on cool, cloudy days because the sun’s UV rays go through clouds. You need it during the winter, too, since snow can reflect the sun’s rays back on to you.
Some skin products - such as moisturizers and lotions - contain sunscreen. Using these products is an easy way to make sure you’re wearing sunscreen. Just make sure the sunscreen is at least SPF 15.
Once you’re in the sun, reapply sunscreen every two hours or each time you get out of the water. This even applies to sunscreen that’s water-resistant.
Wear the Right Kind of ClothesWear a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, or a long skirt. Look for clothes made from polyester or denim; they block the sun’s rays. Also, choose clothes in dark or bright colors as the rays will reflect off them.
If you’re planning to be in and out of the water, take a dry shirt to put on afterward. Wet clothing doesn’t protect you from the sun.