Summer is finally here! The birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. I don’t know about you but I’m loving the warmer weather and the extended daylight! However, there are some safety precautions that need to be taken at this time of year. All of us need to be sure to protect our skin from the summer sun. My family, in particular, has a history of skin cancer so I’m really diligent about it. Here’s how to keep your skin safe in the sun.
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HOW TO KEEP YOUR SKIN SAFE IN THE SUN
Choose the Right Sunscreen
I remember the days of my sister lying out in the backyard, coated in baby oil, trying to get a tan. Yikes! I had suuper fair and sensitive skin so I never purposely tried to go out tanning but the idea of adding oil to the situation? I would likely have had such a bad burn, I would need to be hospitalized.
These days, we all know about the importance of sunscreen but did you know that not all sunscreens are equal? Actually, there are some sunscreens that are better than others. It is important to source one that helps to protect from both UVA and UVB rays (it will be labelled as “broad spectrum”). When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to pick one that has a minimum of SPF 30. (I never use anything under a 50).
The higher you go in SPF, the more protection you get. It’s important to know though, that the differences become smaller as you go up as well. For example, SPF 100 does NOT give you double the protection of SPF 50. SPF 50 sunscreens filter out approximately 98% of UVB rays, and SPF 100 about 99%. No sunscreen offers complete protection.
PRO TIP: Use a sunscreen lotion followed by a spray. The spray will often reach those spots you might have missed with the lotion.
Apply Sunscreen Properly
Once you have the right sunscreen, you need to ensure that you are using it correctly. Always apply your sunscreen at least half an hour prior to going out into the sun. Your skin requires this time to absorb the sunscreen properly. It is also important that you reapply the sunscreen at least every two hours.
You’ll have to apply more frequently if you are sweating or swimming, even if it says it’s water or sweat resistant. There is no such thing as waterproof or sweat proof sunscreen and they are not allowed to be labelled as such.
PRO TIP: Remember to get some lip balm as well as a conditioning spray for your hair with sunscreen in them to protect those sensitive parts of your body too!
The clothing you choose to wear is important. Clothes that cover as much skin as possible are best but in reality, it’s a little more than that. Clothing that offers an UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is the best idea. Aside from regular garments, it is also important to cover your face, head and neck by wearing a large brimmed hat. And did you know that you can buy a laundry additive that will add sun protection to your clothing? Sun Guard contains Tinosorb and increases the UPF of clothing, lasting through 20 washings.
Remember that clothing and hats add an extra layer of protection for your skin and hair but they don’t block out 100%. It’s still really important to use them as part of your sun safety kit, not as a replacement for sunscreen.
PRO TIP: For the sake of being cool, we often reach for white/light-coloured clothing when headed out into the sun, but really, it doesn’t offer much sun protection. And if it gets wet, you might as well be exposing your bare skin!
Protect Your Peepers
It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t look directly into the sun but being outside on a bright day can also damage your eyes. Make sure you have a good pair of sunglasses that protect well against UV light. Read the label on the glasses prior to purchasing them to ensure they are effective.
PRO TIP: Don’t be fooled by clouds. The sun’s harmful rays can pass right through them and cause damage to your skin and eyes.
Whenever possible, seek out some shade and take a break. The sun’s rays are usually at their strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. It’s extra important to take more precautions during these hours. If you can avoid being out or limiting your exposure at this time, all the better.
PRO TIP: Lead by example when it comes to your children. The more they see you following the rules for sun safety, the more likely they are to follow as well.
Some of our favourite sun safety products:
Rit Sun Guard Laundry Treatment UV Protectant – Six PackSun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70, 6 oz Bottle, 1 Count, Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection, Hypoallergenic, Paraben Free, Gluten FreeNeutrogena Ultra Sheer Non-Greasy Sunscreen Stick for Face & Body, Broad Spectrum SPF 70, 1.5 ozNeutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Spf 110, 3 Fl. Oz.Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 70, Cooling Sweat- & Water-Resistant Sunscreen with Oil- & PABA-Free Formula, 5 fl. ozSun Bum Watermelon Sunscreen Lip Balm, SPF 30, 0.15 oz. Stick, 1 Count, Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection, Hypoallergenic, Paraben Free, Gluten Free, VeganLUENX Mens Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses Womens UV 400 Protection Classic Black Lens Matte Mix Black & Grey Frame 54MM with CaseSojoS Fashion Polarized Sunglasses for Women UV400 Mirrored Lens SJ1057 With Gold Frame/Pink Polarized Lens with Soft CaseSun Bum Revitalizing 3-in-1 Leave-In Hair Conditioner Spray, 4 oz Spray Bottle, 1 Count, Detangler, UV Protection, Paraben Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Color SafeiHomey Packable Extra Large Brim Floppy Sun Hat Reversible UPF 50+ Beach Sun Bucket HatTesla TM-FSZ02-WHT_Small Women’s UPF 50+ Hoodie Zip Front Long Sleeve Top Rashguard Swimsuit FSZ02AXESEA Womens Long Sleeve Rash Guard UV UPF 50+ Sun Protection Printed Zipper Surfing One Piece Swimsuit Bathing Suit
While protecting yourself from the dangers of the sun, don’t forget to take precautions to stay safe in the summer heat too!