A Comprehensive Guide To Sun Protection

April 4, 2023

While the sun might feel nice on the skin and promote a happy mood, who truly enjoys day after day of clouds and rain, there are some severe side effects to prolonged and unprotected sun exposure. The least troubling, of course, is a tan. Others include the development of sun spots, skin damage, sunburns, more wrinkles when older, and even an increased risk of skin cancer. These effects are why it is crucial to protect your skin against the harmful rays of the sun. Unfortunately, many individuals either do not know precisely what they should be doing or simply do not put in the effort necessary.

Applying Sunscreen

The most popular way to protect skin from the sun is, of course, to wear sunscreen. Now, most individuals will apply sunscreen when they head to the beach for the day in the summer. This is good, but there are two issues with only putting sunscreen on in the morning on such a day. The first is that sunscreen will need to be reapplied if you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period, such as a beach day, and is even more important when swimming is involved, even if the sunscreen is meant to be waterproof.

The second issue is most individuals forget to apply sunscreen daily. Even if you are not planning to spend the entire day in the sun, or the sun is hidden by clouds, wearing some sunscreen is still essential! Aim to wear sunscreen with an SPF of twenty-five or thirty every day and reapply throughout the day with prolonged exposure. If you do not want to wear a dedicated sunscreen every day, look for a daily moisturizer with SPF in it. This is fine for daily use.

Covering Up With Clothing

The temptation much of the time during the summer is to wear fewer layers of clothing and wear minimal clothes to remain cool or obtain a tan. Some of it is even fashion, such as tiny bikinis for women. However, exposed skin is the sun’s ideal target. When it comes to bathing suits, it is a good idea to wear a coverup or t-shirt of some kind unless you are actually in the water.

Though it may surprise some, there is more than just regular clothing out there to protect against the sun. In fact, there is some specialized clothing available in both sports and hiking stores said to have ultraviolet protection similar to sunscreen, also typically measured as SPF. While this clothing may not be necessary for the average human, it can be extremely helpful for those who spend their entire day outside, whether it’s at the beach, hiking, camping, or even because of their job.

Wear Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses is quite common, but the best benefit behind it is often unknown to most individuals. The vast majority wear sunglasses when it is bright out to protect against the glare of the sun, often while at the beach or while driving. However, what many do not realize is good sunglasses do more than just cut the glare. They provide ultraviolet protection for your eyes, which helps protect the quality of your vision and prevent sun damage from occurring. Thus, it is a smart idea to invest in a quality pair to wear whenever the sun is out, regardless of the time of year.

Those who need prescription glasses may think wearing sunglasses is impossible for them, but in reality, it is not. In fact, they have more options than those who do not need prescription lenses. First, of course, is to wear a pair of sunglasses over their prescription frames. Another is to purchase a pair of frames with magnetic clip-on sunglasses, and yet another is to purchase a pair of prescription sunglasses. Finally, an individual can ask for transition lenses, which will darken when outside in the sun and lighten to normal glasses indoors.

Use The Shade

Spending time out in the sun is a great joy in life for many individuals. However, prolonged direct sun exposure, as stated, can still be quite harmful. Thus, whenever possible, spend time in shaded areas, such as a tree in the park or in a shade tent at the beach. This allows everyone to enjoy the sun and the day without direct exposure the entire time. In addition to helping protect against the sun’s rays, spending time in the shade also helps reduce the risk of heat stroke on particularly hot days. Although shade is a nice thing when spending time outdoors, it won’t prevent all the sunburns, sun damage, as well as the other side effects that can still occur.

Spend Time Inside

The only way to be entirely protected against the sun is to be indoors. Of course, it isn’t realistic for anyone to spend all of their time inside their home or other buildings. It is necessary to venture outdoors at least occasionally, and besides, spending time outside is quite a lot of fun! However, it is inadvisable to spend all day out in the sun all the time. Try to split your days and spend time inside, particularly during a portion of the peak hours, usually between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This is even possible when camping, as you can still spend some time in the tent or trailer away from the sun!

When it comes down to it, the sun is wonderful, and spending time in the sun is enjoyable. Individuals must simply be smart about it and ensure they follow good sun protection practices to keep their skin healthy and as undamaged as possible.

MORE FROM HealthPrep