Health

How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

 


Too much sun exposure can cause sun burn, skin damage, premature skin aging and skin cancer. However, there is nothing wrong with exposing yourself to the sun's rays if it is done in the right way. If you want to know how to protect your skin from the sun then read our easy to follow steps!

1. Chose the right sunscreen!

Sunscreen and sun block are designed to protect your skin from damage against 3 types of ultraviolet rays, UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays cause skin to prematurely age, and UVA and UVA rays increase chances of skin cancer. Be sure to find a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects against all 3 types of ultraviolet rays.

In addition, if you really want to protect your skin then go with a sunblock with an SPF of 30 or more. If you have very fair, sensitive skin then it is best to stick to factor 50+!  If you are sitting in the sun then it is important to reapply sunscreen every two hours.

It is also important to check the expiration date on your sunblock as with time, ingredients can become less effective. Most sunscreens expire around 3 years after landing on the drugstore shelves so if you wear it often then the likelihood is that you'll use it before it expires

sun protection

 
2. Avoid the hours when the suns rays are most powerful!
 

UV rays are the strongest between 10am-3pm so make an effort to stay inside during these hours as this is when you are at the greatest risk of getting sun burnt. Staying inside during these hours really does help you to avoid damaging effects of the sun's powerful rays on your skin. Outdoor activities such as taking your children to the park or taking your dog for a walk should be conducted in the late afternoon. If this is not possible then try and ensure that you brace the sunshine before 12 and after 2.

A useful tip for checking how strong the sun's rays are is to pay attention to your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than you are, it means that the sun is at its strongest.

3. Stay covered up!

If you are enjoying the outdoors, remember to cover up with lightweight fabrics that cover as much skin as possible. Long sleeve shirts and long pants are a much better option then skimpy vest tops and shorts. Breathable materials such as light cotton fabrics will also protect your skin from nasty heat rashes too!

What's more, some clothing is even made from fabric that has built-in sun protection. Check the garment's label to see exactly how protective it is. A UPF of more than 30 is the ideal measurement for the most effective protection.

Finally, it is important to cover your scalp and the right hat can do just that. A baseball cap is great from sheltering your scalp from the beating sun however a wide-brimmed hat helps protect your eyelids, ears and neck too!4. Seek refuge in the shade!

Always try and walk on the shadier side of the street! Even if you are walking for a mere 5 minutes, you skin is still vulnerable to the sun's powerful rays. If you are sitting outside for a long time, the best way to protect your skin is by choosing a location with the maximum amount of shade, even as the sun moves. Parks with large, leafy trees provide sufficient shade, however if you are spending a day by the beach then create your own! A large canopy or umbrella can do just the trick!

It is important to note that being in the shade does not provide total protection from the sun. You are still subject to receiving indirect sunlight that reflects off of nearby surfaces so you should still follow the above steps!

 

5. Drink Water!

Drinking between 2-3 liters of water a day will keep your skin hydrated and reduce signs of aging. When you come into contact with the sun, especially in the warmer summer months, you perspire more and therefore, your body loses water at a faster rate. Dehydration causes damage to your skin's cells which in turn, cause wrinkles and thinner skin which is more prone to sagging. In order to combat this, simply drink between 2-3 liters of water a day!

Finally, avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially whilst you are outside during the day as this can further dehydrate you.6. Remember that being tanned isn’t all that important!

Sunbathing or using a sun bed can increase signs of aging as well as the chances of developing skin cancer! It's just not worth it!

 

Bottom Line

Whether you are constantly outside or prefer to brave the outdoors once the sun goes down, there is no such thing as too much sun protections. Not only can sun burn be painful but the aging effects of the sun's rays can leave you with wrinkles, sun spots and even an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Follow our tips on how to protect your skin to stay safe whilst out and about!

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