UV rays are a major cause of skin damage and premature aging, yet they’re also an essential element in our daily lives. Sunlight helps us produce Vitamin D, which is necessary for our body to function correctly. Studies have shown that sunlight exposure can also improve our moods, stimulate the production of endorphins, and even boost our creativity. But spending too much time in the sun can be dangerous—especially if you don’t take the necessary steps to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. In this article, we will discuss how to do just that: protect your skin from the sun. Learn about sunscreen basics and helpful tips on how to stay safe even when you’re exposed to extended periods of direct sunlight.
The Importance of Sun Protection
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays that can penetrate your skin and cause damage. There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays can prematurely age the skin causing the development of wrinkles and age spots, while UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. Excessive exposure to either over a long period of time can lead to skin cancer. Hence, it is important to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Here are some helpful tips to protect your skin from the sun:
- Wearing sunscreen.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which can block 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. Apply sunscreen liberally and reapply it every 2 hours to ensure that you are well protected from the sun.
- Wear protective and light & loose clothing.
It is recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, wide-brimmed hats to protect your skin and face from the sun’s rays. It is also advisable to use breathable fabrics such as cotton during summer. Tight fitting garments in synthetic fabrics should be avoided as well as it can cause one to sweat more, in turn can make the skin itchy and can lead to having skin infections.
- Seek Shade.
Try to avoid direct sunlight during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and seek shade whenever possible.
- Wear sunglasses.
Protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them by wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Be mindful of reflections.
Water, sand, snow, and other reflective surfaces can increase your exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Be sure to take extra precautions when spending time near these surfaces.
It pays to be informed
Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is not only important for preventing skin cancer, but also for keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful.
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