Skin Safety

by Erika Solloway on June 20, 2016



Summer is the time of year when everyone tries to soak up as much as possible before fall and winter creep up. While enjoying the warmth and sunshine of the summer months, check out some skin safety tips to keep in mind. Since sunlight is the main source of harmful UV rays, protecting your skin is vital.

Seek shade! This may seem obvious, but even on a cloudy or hazy day the strength of UV rays are still extremely strong and you can still get a sunburn. Some UV rays can also pass through windows, like when you’re driving in your car or sitting by the window doing some reading. Having tinted windows can help, but you are still at risk. Seeking out an area not directly exposed to any UV rays will protect your skin the most.

Protect your skin with clothing! While you’re spending time outside, be sure to cover as much skin as possible. You may be thinking, “Why cover myself up when it’s so hot out?” Cotton is an extremely breathable fabric, as well as other activewear materials being made for outdoor activities. Dark colors provide more protection than light colors, and tightly woven fabrics are best.

Use sunscreen! When you’re choosing a sunscreen product, make sure you check out the label. Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB rays) and with sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher are recommended. The higher you go in SPF numbers, like 15, 30, or 50, means more protection. No sunscreen protects you completely. Check to make sure the sunscreen will protect you while you’re in water, and for how long, as well as how it does when you’re sweating. Reading closely for the expiration dates is also extremely important, because after about 2-3 years most products aren’t good anymore. Where you store your sunscreen is also important, because the heat of it being stored in the trunk of your car will make it expire much faster than if it’s kept in an air conditioned area.

Wear a hat and sunglasses! A hat with a brim that goes all the way around protects areas of skin often forgotten about like the tips of your ears and back of your neck. Wearing a hat can also shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunglasses that are UV blocking are crucial. The skin around your eyes is very delicate, as well as your eyes themselves. UV protection in sunglasses comes from an invisible chemical in or applied to the lenses, so be sure to thoroughly check out a new pair before you purchase them.

With these skin safety tips in mind, enjoy your summer!


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