When the sun starts to shine, you will likely want to head outdoors to socialize, have some fun, and make wonderful memories. While the perfect outfits and accessories are likely at the top of your list when summer rolls around, you mustn’t overlook the importance of shielding your eyes and skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Continue reading to learn about the five ways you can protect yourself from the sun this summer.
1. Apply Sunscreen 15 Minutes Before Going Outside
It doesn’t matter if you’re spending a day at the beach, going for a walk, or enjoying a picnic in the park; you must wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Also, you should apply it 15 minutes before you venture outdoors for full protection when in the sun.
Cover your body in at least one ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB radiation, and reapply it every two hours. If you’re planning a dip in the pool, ensure it is water-resistant to prevent sunburn and reapply it every hour.
2. Avoid Peak Sun Hours
The sun is at its strongest point between 10 am and 4 pm, and the intense heat can increase your risk of sunburn and eye damage. For this reason, you must aim to shield yourself from the sun during this time by going indoors or sitting in the shade. If in doubt, follow the shadow rule. The sun’s UV rays are at their strongest when your shadow is much shorter than you.
3. Shield Your Eyes from UV Light
It’s not only your skin that needs to be protected from the sun, as you must shield your eyes, too. The sun emits an ultra-violet (UV) light that can reach the back of your retina, which can lead to red, painful dry eyes that can affect your vision.
Throughout the years, people exposed to much UV light will have a greater risk of cataracts or macular degeneration in later life. Protect your vision and avoid sunburn of the cornea by looking for ways to shield your eyes from the sun. For example, you should wear sunglasses when outdoors and, if you wear glasses, you should switch to UV protection contact lenses.
4. Wear Protective Clothing
In addition to applying sunscreen and wearing the appropriate eyewear, you must choose protective clothing when enjoying the summer sun.
For example, you should add the following items into your seasonal style:
• Long-sleeved shirts
• Long skirts
• Dark colors
If you’re worried that the above options will make you feel hot and sticky, look for lightweight, breathable fabrics, such as linen, cotton, and chambray.
5. Learn About Your Medications
It might surprise you to learn that your medications could make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. If you’re taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication, always review the packaging. If it advises to avoid sunlight or photosensitivity is a potential side effect, be extra cautious when in the sun. Spend more time in the shade, apply a high sunscreen SPF, and wear protective clothing. Also, if you’re pregnant, you must be aware that your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun, and it can increase your risk of sunburn and melasma.