Many people associate summertime with sunburns and tans. Because sunburns can heal fairly quickly, most don’t think much of them and just accept that they’re part of being outside in summer. However, every time you get a sunburn or tan, your skin gets damaged. Too much damage can lead to early aging and even skin cancer. To avoid damaging your skin, it’s important to take precautions. That’s why we’ve put together this list of sun protection tips to help you keep your skin safe and healthy this summer.
1. Seek Out Shade
One of the simplest sun protection tips is to avoid direct sunlight, and the best way to do this is by seeking out shade whenever possible. If you’re going to be sitting outside watching a sports game, put up a canopy tent. If you’re going to the beach, sit underneath an umbrella. For a picnic, set up your spread under tree cover. This is especially important when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest, which is typically between 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Keep in mind, though, that shade doesn’t always offer full sun protection, so make sure you take other precautions as well.
2. Apply Sunscreen Often
If you are going to be outside, then you need to wear sunscreen. This is true no matter what time of year it is, but it’s even more important in the summer since you’ll likely be spending more time outside in direct sunlight than you would in colder months. For the best sun protection, you should use a minimum of SPF 30. Make sure your sunscreen also has broad spectrum protection to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s also important to protect your lips by using a lip balm with SPF. You should always apply sunscreen before going out in the sun, and then reapply every two hours to keep your skin well-protected.
3. Wear Sunglasses & Hats
Protective accessories like sunglasses and hats shield your eyes from the sun and keep harmful UV rays off of your face. The best sunglasses are ones with lenses that have 99% to 100% UV absorption, so try to find a pair with that label for optimal sun protection. Too much sun exposure can damage your eyes and ultimately lead to worsened eyesight. Another perk of wearing sunglasses and hats is that they keep your eyes from having to squint to see in bright sunlight. This can prevent you from getting lines and wrinkles around your eyes from squinting too much.
4. Dress in Sun-Protective Clothing
You should choose carefully when picking out the clothes you wear out in the sun. It’s tempting to wear light, breezy fabrics to stay cool. However, these types of fabrics let more UV rays through to your skin, which means your skin can be damaged even through your clothes. For full sun protection, choose clothes made from tightly woven fabrics to block out those harmful UV rays. It’s also better to wear dark-colored clothing, as light-colored clothing will reflect the sunlight back onto your skin and into your eyes. Some clothes are even specifically designed to offer sun protection, such as rash guards and most fishing apparel. When possible, wear clothes that are labeled with SPF to fully protect your skin.
5. Check Your Medications
Your medications list probably isn’t top of mind when you’re getting ready to enjoy your day outdoors. It’s important to note, however, that some medications increase skin sensitivity. This can make your skin more susceptible to damage when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Ask your pharmacist if any of your medications have the risk of increased skin sensitivity as a side effect. If they do, then make sure you minimize sun exposure and take extra precautions to protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing and accessories, and staying out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
Our Pharmacists Can Help!
Our pharmacists here at Hines Street Pharmacy can help answer your questions about whether your medications cause skin sensitivity to sunlight and can also provide recommendations on skin protection products to help you keep your skin healthy. Schedule a consultation with our local pharmacists today to get answers to your questions and receive expert advice on the best solutions for your health!