We know that a little bit of sun is good for us, generating vitamin D and lifting our spirits, but too much sun is harmful. Managing sun exposure during the summer is essential for protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, which can include sunburn, wrinkles, melasma, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Here are some tips to help you safely enjoy the sun during the summer months:
Use Sunscreen: Every day. Rain or shine. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, arms, and legs. Don’t forget the tops of your hands either.
Wear a Hat: Choosing a hat that can stand up to wind and rain as well as sunshine will ensure it spends more time on your head. UPF50+ rated designs will deliver the greatest sun protection.
Manage Exposure: Find shade whenever possible, especially during the sun's peak hours, which are typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats to cover your skin. Dark-colored clothing with a tight weave offers better protection.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, as sun exposure can lead to dehydration. This helps keep your skin healthy and aids in regulating body temperature.
Plan Around Peak Heat: If possible, schedule outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense.
Stay Informed: Check the UV index in your area before heading outside. The UV index indicates the strength of UV radiation and can help you plan accordingly.
Stay Sun-Safe in the Water: Remember that water can reflect and intensify UV radiation. Wear water-resistant sunscreen and reapply after swimming. A water-resistant hat will increase your protection when enjoying time out.
Stay Sun-Safe at High Altitudes: If you're in the mountains, be aware that UV radiation is stronger at higher altitudes. Take extra precautions, like a hiking hat with the flexibility to adapt to the conditions.
Teach Sun Safety: Educate children and others in your care about the importance of sun safety to instill good habits from a young age. Lead by example!
Remember that sun exposure is cumulative, so it's important to protect your skin every day, not just during the summer months. A high-quality sun hat does make a difference. Taking these precautions will help you enjoy the outdoors while minimising the risk to your skin and overall health.