It’s easy to get excited about spending time in the sun, especially after a dreary winter. As awesome as the sun can be, it’s also dangerous to your precious skin. Spending too much time in the sun can lead to painful burns, long-term skin damage, and cancer. Follow these sun safety tips to protect yourself against harmful sun rays.
10 Tips for Sun Safety
The best way to avoid damaging your skin is to limit your sun exposure. You’re especially vulnerable if you have light skin, hair, eyes, or a history of sunburns. Other factors that increase your susceptibility include high altitudes, proximity to the equator, and medications that make you sensitive to light. We’re here to help with 10 easy tips for sun safety.
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB rays). Aim for a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, and check labels for expiration date and water resistance. Use about one ounce—the size of a shot glass— and reapply every two hours or after water sports.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection. Your eyes are still vulnerable to sun damage. Most sunglasses include a label that says “100% protection.” Dark-tinted and mirrored lenses are usually more protective.
- Wear makeup and lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. Your facial skin is the most sensitive to sun damage, so it’s vital to cover up. Most makeup and lip balm products include a label showing the protection factor.
- Whenever possible, wear loose sun-protective clothing. Choose clothing that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 15 or higher.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim or bill. A full brim protects your face and neck, while a bill protects your most sensitive areas: your face and eyes. Banner & Oak offers several protective hats that are comfortable and stylish.
- Avoid the sun between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm when UV rays are most intense. And limit your time in water, snow, or sand, where UV rays are more harmful.
- Seek out shaded areas. You can still burn in the shade, so choose areas that protect you from all angles.
- Check your shadow to gauge how intense the sun’s rays are. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are strongest, and you should be extra cautious.
- Keep a close eye on your skin to monitor changes in appearance. If you notice any dark freckles, unusual spots or moles, crusted patches, extensive wrinkling, or lumps, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
- Avoid tanning beds, as they cause long-term skin damage and increase your chance of getting cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. But spending time in the sun doesn’t have to be a death warrant. You can have your sun and enjoy it too. Follow these easy tips for sun safety to protect yourself and your family from long-term damage.