Spring break is here and summer will be in full swing before we know it. That means you’re going to want to spend as much time as possible in the bright, cheery sunlight. But be careful — exposure to sunlight can quickly lead to overexposure to UV rays.
Overexposure can lead to sunburns, sun spots, early signs of aging and an increased chance of developing skin cancer. Getting the right amount of sun is tricky but necessary. Sun exposure is vital for your body, so you can’t spend all your time indoors hiding. Just make sure to take the following precautions:
1. Invest in Sunblock
Start using sunblock or an all-natural sun protector regularly. Apply it each morning before heading out the door — whether you’re going to the beach or simply walking to work. It is a good idea to pay attention to the type of sunblock you are using. Most require reapplication after 3 to 4 hours or if you have been exposed to water or excessive sweating. If you aren’t a fan of the creams and lotions, you don’t have to worry. Sunblock is also found in powder form, sprays, gels and more that are all aimed at facilitating application.
2. Wear Wide-Brimmed Hats
Wide-brimmed hats are a great investment for spring and summer since they can offer you sun protection and also make a great accessory to pair with your sundress or outfit. Hats that have a brim of 2 to 3 inches will help protect your face, neck, ears and nose.
If you’re thinking the hair on your head can prevent your scalp from a sunburn, think again. Wearing a hat will be easier protection than trying to get sunblock through your strands.
3. Wear Good, Quality Sunglasses
Excessive sunlight can contribute to eye damage by causing you to squint or strain your eyes. Invest in a good pair of quality sunglasses that are specifically designed to handle UV rays. And don’t forget your kids! Sunglasses are essential for everyone, so stock up on sunnies.
4. Pay Attention to Your Clothing
When you’re having fun in the sun, you probably won’t be wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. However, covering up with light, airy clothing is key. This gives your skin an added layer of protection from the sun, especially when you left your sunblock at home. If you forget the sunblock and don’t have clothing that will protect you, limit your time in the sun so you don’t easily damage your skin.
5. Avoid Sun Tanning
Sun tanning and tanning beds should be avoided because they increase the chances of skin cancer. While tanning, your overexposure to UV rays is greatly increased. Most of us lay in direct sunlight with the least amount of clothing on to get the best tan. You might get a nice summer bronzing, but you also increase the chances of getting a severe sunburn, causing cellular damage, developing skin cancer, and enhancing skin sensitivity.
Developing a skin condition from being in the sun too long (or even being in intense UV rays for a short amount of time) is scary to think about. And yet some sun exposure is healthy. It helps our bodies produce vitamin D and aids in other functions.
But you should always protect your skin when you step outside. It doesn’t matter if the sun is blazing or if it’s overcast. It doesn’t matter if you’ll be outside for five minutes or five hours. You have to cover up one way or another.
What are your favorite sunny accessories? I can’t leave home without Sun-Up Ultra Before Sun Protector and my favorite pair of sunglasses.