It is impossible to completely avoid the sun, but we can prevent its more damaging effects while out enjoying the day. Whether you spend time at the beach, playing sports, lounging in the backyard, or even just during daily activities, like heading to work or going to the grocery store, you’re exposed to the sun. Initially, the most basic result of sun damage is sunburn, but through sunburn prevention, you are also protecting yourself from the lingering effects of sun damage, including a variety of skin cancers. Wearing sunscreen and protecting yourself from the sun is an important step in long term overall health.
- wear sunblock
- wear protective gear
- apply the right amount of sunblock
- avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- assume you don’t need to wear sunscreen
- forget to cover your back, ears and top of your head
- forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours
- visit tanning booths
Wear sunscreen when you are going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time, with at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. It’s important to consider a sunscreen that blocks the harmful UV rays of the sun, both UVA and UVB.
Wear a loose-fitting T-shirt and a broad-brimmed hat when you know you’ll be outdoors and exposed to the sun. Covering your arms, shoulders and head limits the amount of sun exposure. The extra layer of protection along with sunscreen is a great way to keep the sun’s rays at bay.
A thin coating of sunscreen may seem like enough, but it’s important to apply the right amount of sunscreen to protect you from burns. Apply your sunblock generously at least 30 minutes before heading out into the sun. Use at least two tablespoons of sunscreen for face and body.
The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so avoiding that time of day is one of the best ways to prevent sunburn. Plan your outdoor activities accordingly, and you can still enjoy the sun’s warmth without the danger of burns. If you’ll be out in the sun during those hours, be sure to seek out some shade to reduce your chances of getting sunburned. If you’re on the beach, bring along an umbrella for extra protection.
The damaging effects of the sun affect all skin tones, hues and complexions – wear sunscreen. Besides sunburn, it is also important to help protect against skin cancer.
These exposed areas are often overlooked and will bear the brunt of the sun damage because of it. Protect these areas with sunscreen, a hat or other clothing to prevent sunburn and particularly skin cancers that may develop later in life in these often neglected areas.
Sunscreen protection doesn’t last all day. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating a lot, which washes away the sunscreen.
“Base” tans are a myth, and using a tanning booth can cause sunburns if you have fair skin or if you overdo it. There are no “safe” tanning beds, as they all use UV light to kickstart the tanning process. If you can’t be without a tan, spray tans are the safest bet.
Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing prevents sunburn, but it is also important to note the benefit of these behaviors throughout your life. Knowing about sun exposure, even in moments of indirect sunlight, can help with long-term skin cancer prevention.