The Best Sun Protection for your Body and Eyes When Outdoors


It’s summertime, which means getting out and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. But it’s all fun and games until the sun wreaks havoc on your skin or causes short and long term damage to your eyes. About 3.3 million Americans are diagnosed with some type of skin cancer each year, and that number could be prevented just by keeping your skin more protected. Thankfully we’re here to share a few proven ways to keep your body and eyes protected from the sun when you’re outside.

How to Protect Your Skin

Man smiles as hands apply sunscreen to his back in the shape of a smiley face
Don't skip the sunscreen, your skin will thank you!

Wear Sunscreen

The first way to keep your skin protected is sunscreen. Dermatologist recommend that every time you leave your house you have at least 30SPF sunscreen on, even if it’s cool or cloudy. It’s a complete myth that you only need sunscreen when it’s hot and sunny outside. A broad-spectrum sunscreen means that UVA and UVB rays are filtered out. UVA rays are most responsible for aging and skin cancer, whereas UVB rays are most responsible for affecting the surface of the skin and causing sunburn. So, next time you step out of the house don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
Two surfers walk on a beach at dusk with surfboards in hand
Long sleeve rash guards and bodysuits are a great way to protect your skin while catching some waves at the beach.

Choose Protective Clothing

Clothing is the most effective form of sun protection. It might not be the most comfortable to wear long pants or shirts in the heat, however there’s clothing specifically made with UV protection in the fabric so be sure to look for clothing with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF number. This number indicates how much UV radiation a fabric lets through to the skin. A fabric must have a UPF of at least 30 to qualify for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. A UPF of 30 to 49 is considered good protection, but 50+ means it is excellent and blocks 98 percent of the sun’s rays. Just remember when clothes are wet they are less effective for protecting your skin so add an extra layer of sunscreen before you dive in.


Get a Hat

Finally, a great way to protect your skin is to wear a hat. A hat with a brim is perfect for covering your face, ears and neck from the sun, but a baseball hat works as well. Keep in mind that your ears and neck may still be exposed so don’t forget to apply sunscreen there. A few examples of great protection include bucket hats (especially with a neck flap), visors, and western hats. Then there are more fashionable ones for lounging, running errands or outdoor parties. With a hat for every occasion, you can make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun 24/7! 

Effects of Sun Exposure on your Eyes

Overexposure to the sun can have short term and long term side effects on your eyes and the skin around them. Short term effects can be pretty similar to sunburn on your eyes. Photokeratitis is a short term effect that occurs when UV rays penetrate the corneas, leaving a painful, burning feeling, red eyes, and blurry vision. This is often caused by glare from snow, tanning, or bodies of water. Another short term issue can be pterygium or “surfer’s eye”, which causes growths on the whites the eye and happens with prolonged exposure to sunlight. This can result in dry, itchy eyes, excessive tearing, and a gritty sensation in the eyes.

Cataracts can be a long term effect of overexposure to sunlight and it’s UV rays. This happens when the lenses of your eyes slowly become cloudy and opaque, and usually comes with age, but you can reduce your risk of cataracts just by protecting your eyes with sunglasses. Another long term eye issue that can happen from sun exposure is eye cancer or cancer of the skin surrounding your eyes. This can be incredibly damaging, so just make sure to always have a pair of sunglasses with you.

How Sunglasses Can Help

Luckily, this is why sunglasses were invented! Not only to make you look, but to also block those UV rays from hitting your eyeballs and causing damage. There are a few factors in sunglasses that you want to look for to make sure they’re going to protect your eyes the best. UV protection is the main thing to look for in your sunglasses. It’s important to buy either 99 or 100 UV protection lenses. Anything lower than that won’t protect you fully from the sun. Also, if there’s little or no information about the number of UV protection, it’s time to get yourself a new pair of shades. 

Man and woman skip through carnival with shades on
Shades are the perfect accessory year-round for looking good and staying safe.

New or refreshed shades is where Fuse Lenses steps in to save the day! Our lenses are made with optical-grade Polycarbonate material that offer 100% UV protection. We can make replacement lenses for any brand in your sunglass arsenal. If you want to learn more about how our replacement lenses work or about polarized lenses check out our informational (and fun) YouTube videos.
Polarized lenses or dark lenses are other ways sunglasses protect your eyes.

Polarized lenses are the for reducing glare from the water for when you’re fishing, boating, or even driving. If you want to learn more in depth about the difference between polarized vs. normal sunglasses, check out this video. Again, Fuse Lenses has you covered in this department because we have the option of polarized lenses as well as 20 color options to replace your current name brand sunglass lenses with!

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