Catching some rays at the beach or the pool are favorite past times during these hot summer months. However, too much sun exposure could be dangerous for your health, particularly your skin. According to the Center for Disease Control, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. Many contributing factors can be traced back to the sun. So here are some ways to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities this season while staying cool and safe.
Always seek a shaded area
This is a simple tip yet very effective. Standing in the shade makes it feel 10-15 degrees cooler than standing in direct sunlight. Shaded areas also offer an extra layer of protection from direct sun rays. So map out the best trees on your next visit to the park. If you’re headed to the beach, pack a beach umbrella. Every little bit helps.
Stay inside during peak hours
The sun’s exposure is typically the worst between 10am and 2pm. During this time, the sun is usually directly overhead, giving its rays an unobstructed path to your skin. The worst sunburns often happen during these hours. So wake up early to catch the sunrise on the beach and get a few hours in the sand before heading in for lunch. You can go back out for a fun afternoon and evening, and enjoy the sunset as well.
Use a sunscreen, and keep using it
Sunscreens provide both health and cosmetic benefits, including preventing skin cancer, preventing wrinkles and reducing red veins and blotchy spots. Be sure to use a product with a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, of 30 or higher. If you’re going to be in the water, make sure your sunscreen is waterproof. It’s not enough to only use sunscreen once. Experts recommend you apply the lotion 30 minutes before you head outside, and then re-apply every couple of hours.
Wear clothing that covers your skin
Long sleeves and pants offer excellent protection from the sun. But not all clothing is created equal. The darker the color, the better the protection. The type of material also plays a role. Garments that are tightly woven are better than lightweight options such as a white t-shirt. Several companies now offer clothes with a promise to protect your skin. Cosmopolitan composed a list of the best available items of 2019. Also, don’t forget to grab a hat and some shades before heading out in the sun. This is not only helpful for walks and other outdoor activities, but it’s also needed for quick errands to the store. Your face, particularly the skin around your eyes, is very sensitive to the sun. So hats and sunglasses are must-have items.
Change your diet
Yes, you read that correctly. What you eat can have a direct effect on your skin health. Therefore, there are things you can do to protect your skin from the inside out. Vitamin C can actually help to prevent sunburn. So load up on fruit like kiwi, blackberries, and strawberries. Also, foods that are rich in anti-oxidants help protect skin cells from being damaged. They include pomegranates, kale, and spinach. Please keep in mind that while certain food can help, it should not be your only option for protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
The summer season brings lots of fun, but it can be dangerous if you’re not taking care of your skin. It only takes a few minutes of direct sunlight to cause harmful effects. So before you step outside, be sure to take the necessary steps needed to protect yourself from getting a sunburn.