Keeping your skin safe and protected is so important, especially while you are still young. Too much sun exposure can cause premature aging, which no one wants. While I’m all for enjoying some fun in the sun during the summer months, there are ways to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
If you didn’t already know, UVA rays are the ones that cause premature aging, while UVB rays result in those pesky sunburns that we consider a roadblock on the way to the ultimate tan. These results occur over a long period of sun exposure. Not all sun exposure is bad and spending around 15 minutes in the sun each day gives us a natural source of vitamin D.
With this in mind, it is important to stay safe while spending time outside, and there are ways to limit your exposure without sacrificing summer fun.
1. Wear Sunscreen
Sunscreen is very important in protecting you skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation. Sunscreen works by scattering and reflecting UV rays that cause harm to our skin. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients in sunscreen could possibly be carcinogenic. While it is important to protect your skin, sunscreen won’t do much good if you are saving yourself from UV rays, but not harmful ingredients.
I use Badger sunscreen because it contains USDA Certified Organic ingredients and the only active ingredient is zinc oxide. You can read more info about them here. You skin directly absorbs whatever is applied to it, so it is best to be careful.
SPF is also an important factor in sunscreen. The picture below shows my bottle with only SPF 25. Dermatologists actually recommend an SPF of 30 or higher to adequately protect yourself. Higher SPF doesn’t necessarily mean you are more protected. Anything above SPF 50 isn’t automatically necessary and, if you are not reapplying frequently, isn’t providing much more of a benefit.
2. Wear Long Sleeves
Clothes are an amazing way to protect yourself from the sun. While summer time is definitely hot, the key is to find loose clothes that are light and do not cling too close to the skin. This layer is beneficial when performing daily errands or when doing work outside. I have noticed a personal difference just from wearing a denim jacket while driving. My arms don’t have as many sun spots and my skin tone is more even.
3. Use an Umbrella
Did you know sun umbrellas are a thing? I didn’t until my mom bought one online and started showing up everywhere with one. At first I thought she looked like a baked potato (the umbrella is made of a shiny silver material). Now, I’m slightly partial to the idea. If you want to stay safe outside the umbrella also reflects harmful rays, keeps you around 15 degrees cooler and there is no sticky sunscreen required. I will link the compact size here.
These cost around $40-$50 depending on your retailer. Amazon usually has the best price, but they are sold out at the moment. Walmart also sells this product.
4. Accessorize with Hats
Hats are a perfect way to add to any outfit. Ideally, wide-brim hats protect your forehead and neck the best when out in the sun. Baseball caps are also an option, but they don’t protect the back of your neck very well, so be aware. I will link some of my favorite options here, here and here, as well as at the bottom of the post.
Sunglasses don’t necessarily protect your skin, but they do protect your eyes from vision loss and cataracts. Recently, I learned that not all sunglasses are the most protective. The majority of sun glasses claim to block UV rays, but some are only coated with the protecting substance. This can wear off after time.
It is important to do your research, as other glasses come with the protective substance embedded in the frame. I will list a few of my favorite styles here and here. If you are looking for a particular aspect of protection, try asking an optometrist or researching which brand might be best for you.
6. Staying inside
Staying inside is the ultimate way to stay safe from the sun. This can be hard since we spent the majority of winter cooped up. If you have to go outside it is best to avoid exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as this is when rays are the strongest. Make sure to use ample sun protection if your are active during this time of day.
Fun in the sun can be a great way to enjoy the summer months and spend time with friends and family. Make sure you are staying safe!