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    Ways To Protect Yourself From the Sun

    Today is “Don’t Fry Day”, a day dedicated to encouraging sun safety to prevent the harm that UV rays from the sun can cause. About 3.3 million Americans each year are diagnosed with some type of skin cancer. This is an extremely large number that could partially be prevented by keeping your skin protected.


    So, in honor of today, we wanted to give you a few tips to keep your skin safe when it comes to going outside. It’s always important to stay protected in the sun, so to find out the four most important tips to protect yourself, just keep reading. 

    1. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen

    Sunscreen is one of the most vital parts of keeping your skin safe when going outside. There are several myths like “I don’t need sunscreen when it’s cloudy out” or “I have dark skin, so I don’t need it”, that are completely untrue. Everyone needs sunscreen every time you step out of the house. 

    Sunscreen has a sun protection factor(SPF) that it is assigned based on how well it will protect you from the sun. If you are going outside, dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, even on cool or cloudy days. 

    A broad-spectrum sunscreen means it filters out UVA and UVB rays. UVA are most responsible for aging and skin cancer, where UVB is most responsible for affecting the surface of the skin and causing sunburn. 

    You should always apply a thick layer of sunscreen on any exposed parts of the skin, including your face and don’t forget to reapply it throughout the day, because sunscreen wears off. 

     

    woman in pink bathing suit putting sunscreen on
    SPF helps protect from the harmful UV rays that comes from the sun.

    2. Avoid Peak Sun Hours

    Avoiding the sun as much as possible from the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is probably your best bet when it comes to staying protected from the sun. The Sun Safety Alliance recommends staying indoors as much as possible during this time frame because it is peak time for sunburn and skin damage. 

    During these hours, the sun is directly overhead, allowing it to hit your skin more directly and cause damage easier. Remember that how hot it feels is not a good indicator of how likely you are to get sunburned. The hottest time of the day typically comes later than the sunniest time of day. 

    You should also take note that driving during these hours can still cause sun damage and sunburn as your windshield may not provide proper sun protection, especially when untinted. So, even though you are technically not “outside”, you may need to apply sunscreen when you are on the road. 

     

    orange picture of sun
    Avoiding peak sun hours can protect you from sunburn and other skin damage.

    3. Wear a Protective Outfit

    While it may not always be the most comfortable in the heat, wearing dark, long sleeves and long pants will keep you the most protected from the sun. There are some clothing pieces that are certified under international standard and specifically manufactured to be UV protected as well. 


    If you are going for a swim, remember that wet clothing is a lot less effective than dry clothing when it comes to sun protection, so it is important to add a layer of sunscreen between you and the sun before jumping in. 


    If wearing long sleeves or long pants is not a viable option for you, it is important to cover up as best as you can. Take note that a regular t-shirt typically has lower than 15 SPF so remember to use other types of protection to stay safe.

    4. Protect Your Face

    There are several ways you can go about protecting your face. One thing you can do is wear a hat with a brim that goes all the way around. This brim will protect your facial features as well as your ears, so this is the best option when it comes to hats. 


    If you decide you want to wear a baseball cap, remember to make sure your ears and neck are protected as baseball caps leave these two areas exposed. 


    Another thing you should be doing to protect your face is wearing sunglasses! Sunglasses can keep you safe from serious conditions caused by the sun such as cataracts, eye cancer, and cancer of the skin surrounding the eye.


    A few tips when it comes to sunglasses are:

    • They should be large to protect your eyes and the skin surrounding your eyes
    • They should have 99 or 100 UV protection
    • They should be wraparound frames to block light from entering on the sides. 
    floppy hat with sunglasses on the beach
    Sunglasses can protect against the UV rays and other harm that may come to your eyes, like cataracts and eye cancer.

    Summary

    You should take sun protection seriously because without it, harm can be caused to your skin and body. Doing just one of these things is not enough to keep you safe from the sun. You should be doing a combination or all of these things to make sure you are safe from harmful UV rays. 


    Overall, we want to take the time on “Don’t Fry Day” to remind you that skin cancer is a serious epidemic and taking proper precautions can reduce the risk of it affecting you personally. 


    So, wear sunscreen, avoid those bright times of the day, wear protective clothing, and make sure your face is protected! With these steps, you are less likely to burn and more importantly, less likely to have serious sun-caused issues. 

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