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How to Protect Yourself From the Sun

If you are looking to spend a lot of time outdoors, then it is vitally important that you know how to protect yourself from the sun. Even on cloudy or overcast days, or even if you are spending time indoors if you are near a source of natural light, you need to have some kind of sun protection on you. This is because UV rays – the invisible radiation from the sun that makes up sunlight – can damage skin cells, leading to premature ageing and wrinkles, in addition to increasing the risk of developing skin cancer. Although putting on sunscreen – so long as you do it correctly — is a good method of protecting your skin from the sun, there are other protection methods you should keep in mind too.

Below, we explain the different types of sun protection, and what you should do to prevent sunburns and skin damage.

What is SPF

If you are planning on using sunscreen (which everyone should), then it is important that you understand what SPF is. SPF stands for sun protection factor, and it showcases a sunscreen’s ability to protect against a specific type of UV light called UVB. These rays are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer. For instance, if it takes 10 minutes for an unprotected piece of skin to start turning red. Then using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 theoretically prevents the reddening from happening 30 times longer.

It’s important to note that UV light is made up of multiple different types of rays, such as UVC (which do not pass through to the Earth), and UVA (also responsible for skin cancer and skin ageing). As such, it is vital that you pick a sunscreen that has a high SPF number. In addition to being a broad spectrum, it can protect you from both UVB and UVA rays.

What sunscreen should you buy?

Experts recommend that if you are looking to use sunscreen for daily wear, then you should choose one that has an SPF of at least 30. If you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in a place that is sunny most of the time, then getting sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more would be ideal. Generally speaking, it is always better to use sunscreen with a higher SPF as most people do not apply or reapply sunscreen as they should. As such, sunscreen with a higher SPF factor is used to help compensate for people applying it incorrectly.

Lay out sunscreen thick

When it comes to applying sunscreen on your skin, you always want to apply more than you should. That means laying it on thick! We suggest you use a tablespoon of sunscreen on your face and neck, and around two ounces on your body. Just so you know, when you squeeze sunscreen onto your palm, one ounce should be enough to completely cover your palm. This way, you can gain as much protection from the sun as possible.

Use sunscreen daily

Experts all recommend that you use sunscreen daily. Even when it is overcast, or even if you are not planning to spend a lot of time outdoors. This is because most people get exposed to the sun incidentally. It usually happens when you commute, go to lunch, or even stay near a window. However, it has been proven that chronic sun exposure without any form of protection can damage the skin in the long run. In fact, it can sometimes lead to skin ageing for up to five or seven years. As such, it is best that you keep a healthy habit of applying sunscreen daily, as you never know when you may need to spend time outdoors in the sun.

Apply before you go out

This is a pretty obvious tip, but you should always apply sunscreen before going out and about. If you are already out and are starting to apply it, it is already too late. This is because most sunscreen which contains chemicals to reflect UV rays needs time to be absorbed into your skin. In fact, most sunscreens need a head start of around 15-20 minutes before they kick in and start working effectively.

Reapply sunscreen

Although most people do not often do this, it is vital that you regularly reapply sunscreen, at least every two hours. You should also reapply sunscreen if you have been in the water for some time too. Although some sunscreens are waterproof, even those that need to be reapplied regularly. This is because water, sweat, wind, dirt and more can wipe away sunscreen in addition to breaking down the protective chemicals. If you are someone that keeps on forgetting, you can set an alarm on your phone that will remind you to reapply sunscreen. Always be sure to apply often, and more than you think you need.

Wear proper clothing

Aside from using sunscreen, there are other ways to protect your skin. One such method is wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, if possible. The clothes form a natural barrier to UV rays, with clothes that are created from tightly woven fabric giving the best sun protection. You will want to avoid fabrics that are loose, such as lace. Furthermore, if it is not too hot, darker colours offer more protection in comparison to lighter ones. If you are not sure about which types of clothes to pick, you can always check their label to see if it comes with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number.

Use a hat

Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the best one. You can’t go wrong without a trusty hat! The best kind is a wide-brimmed hat that can protect your face, ears, and neck. It is best that you avoid baseball hats or hats that have holes in them. They will not be as effective in protecting you from the sun. If you are fashion-conscious, don’t fret! There are plenty of different options available when it comes to picking the right hat for you.

Stay in the shade

If you must spend a lot of time outdoors, then it is best that you stand beneath a shade. This simple tip can reduce your risk of skin cancer and skin damage. Shades can include umbrellas, trees, buildings, and shelters. However, it’s important to note that not all shades are equal. This is because UVB rays can still reach the skin indirectly, especially if it has been diffused or redirected. The best type of shade is those that are deep. This means that you cannot see the sky and no UV rays can penetrate it.

Read more on how to protect your family from the sun! Check out this other article on other ways to protect yourself from the heat rays. Some very important tips included in the article are staying hydrated, making use of fans, wearing proper clothing, and placing a high emphasis on proper ventilation. Nowadays it is important to protect yourself and your family from the sun. Since we are more aware than we have ever been of the sun’s harmful rays, it is our responsibility. We should make sure that we do not expose our family to it as much as possible. This can help prevent future health problems and counts as a preventative measure against cancer.

Once you combine all of these tips, you are ready to rock this summer! Make sure to share this article with your loved ones and close friends to give them a heads-up on the dangers of the sun’s harmful rays. We should pay special attention to children. They tend to spend a lot of time in the water and are more exposed to UVA and UVB rays. When they are in the water, they are more likely to get sunburnt due to the reflective property of water droplets. Therefore, it is crucial to put sunscreen on them whenever they come out of the water.

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