We are deep in the heart of summer at this point, and I hope you are all enjoying it as much as we are...mornings with no alarm clocks, days at the beach, summer camp, swimming and lots of time outside.
As much fun as all of that is, it could still be ruined by sunburn. It's very obvious that my pale self does not get along with the sun, but sun safety is important for everyone.
Even if you only get a "little" sunburn, the damage could be cumulative.
Sun Safety Tips
Staying in the shade does not protect you completely because sunlight can reflect off of other surfaces, but it is obviously better that being out in the full sun.
2) Avoid The Strongest Sun
If you can avoid it, try to avoid going out during the hours when the sunlight is the strongest (10am - 4pm). Of course, that is most of the day and you don't want to spend your summer like a vampire. Try planning your outdoor activities in early morning or late afternoon.
3) Cover Up
Anything you do to lessen the amount of sun that gets to your skin is helpful. Hats, pants and long sleeves are helpful, but not always practical when it is 90+ degrees! There are lots of clothing options now that offer SPF protection and help you to stay cool.
4) Don't Tan
There is no such thing as a safe tan!! I really want to type that in all capitals. Getting a "base tan" does not offer you any protection! Tanning booths are also horrible for your skin - and your health!
If your skin turns a different color, then it means that your skin was damaged.
5) Wear Sunscreen Every Day
I really could write a whole post and just fill the screen with "Wear Sunscreen!". It's that important. You are still vulnerable to the damage of the suns rays when it's cloudy/overcast, when you are in your car, when you are "just running out for a few minutes". That exposure for "just a few minutes" adds up over the years.
6) Apply Sunscreen Before You Leave The House
Sunscreen takes approximately 30 minutes to reach its full effectiveness. Therefore, if you don't apply it until you get to your destination, you are leaving yourself unprotected for unnecessary time.
7) Reapply Sunscreen Often
Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, and again after swimming, toweling off or sweating a lot.
8) Don't Store Sunscreen In Your Car
Its a great idea to keep sunscreen with you to reapply during the day, but the heat of the car can decrease it's effectiveness. It's better to keep it in your purse, backpack, desk at work, etc.
9) Buy New Sunscreen Each Year
This is one of the very few times you will ever hear me suggest that you throw away something without finishing it. I hate to waste. However, this time it is important. Sunscreen only has a certain shelf life where it is still effective. Check the expiration dates like you would medication. However, hot summer weather can alter that. A few trips to the beach or pool over the summer will speed up that expiration date.
10) Wear Sunglasses
Adults and children should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun damage. This is especially necessary for people with blue or light-colored eyes