Summer is here which means beach days, poolside hangouts, and running around with the kiddos from lunchtime till dinner time. With that being said, time spent in the sun will be maximized.
It's easy to just go outside and not think about protecting your skin. But, unfortunately, we are not stronger than the sun and the UV index matters. So, tip number one, always check the UV index before heading outdoors, even on a cloudy day. You'd be surprised, it's the overcast days that usually hit the hardest.
Sunscreen, Swim, Repeat
Spending time in the sun naturally increases our risk of skin cancer and early skin again. And cmon, no one wants either of those. Especially when there are plenty of ways to avoid those issues. Sunscreen is an obvious go-to when preparing for a day in the sun but, with all of the sunscreen brands out there, how are we supposed to know which ones are best for us and our children?
According to the FDA, it's best to use broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Broad spectrum sunscreens protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays, two types of ultraviolet radiation that the sun gives off.
From their site, I learned that no sunscreen is waterproof therefore, it's vital to reapply at least every two hours and more often if you're swimming or sweating.
Not sure how much to apply? No problem. Always read the label on your sunscreen bottle but a rule of thumb for the average-size adult or child is to fill up a shot glass and use that amount to evenly cover the body.
And, one very important thing to note is that "no sunscreen completely blocks UV radiation. So other protections are needed, such as protective clothing, sunglasses, and staying in the shade."
Protect Your Eyes As You Would Your Skin
Sunglasses are very much a trend. Who doesn't love a chunky swear look or some fashionable cat eye lenses? But, we can't forget that sunglasses are also a form of protection. The FDA shares, "Sunlight reflecting off sand, water, or even snow, further increases exposure to UV radiation and increases your risk of developing eye problems." So, when choosing your next pair of sunglasses for the summer, make sure to look beyond style.
Here are some tips to protect your eyes year round:
- Sunglasses with a UV 400 rating or "100% UV protection" on the label block more than 99% of UVA and UVB radiation and provide the most protection against UV rays
- The darkness of the lens does not determine the strength of protection
- Your children's sunglasses should have the same protection as yours- double check their next set of toy sunglasses before heading outside
- Consider larger style frames- these may provide more UV protection because they cover the entire eye socket
Hats, Umbrella's And Shade
Beyond the sunscreen and sunglasses are other ways to protect yourself from the sun while still enjoying the gorgeous weather. These options include hats, umbrellas and other types of shade.
Treat yourself to a hat that's versatile and will always go with your style or treat yourself to multiple. Anything from a baseball cap to a large sunhat can do the trick to add extra protection.
If you're spending the day on an open field or at the beach, get yourself a large umbrella that the entire family can fit under to hide from the sun every now and then and give your skin a break.
Shade in general is great. Not only does it keep your out of the sun but it can also help cool you down. When making plans to be outside, look for spots that offer natural shade from trees, canopies or whatever else.
All in all, our skin is our armor and we need to keep in good health with the rest of our organs. And let's be real, we all want to keep it looking as young as possible as we continue to grow older.