Last updated: January 16, 2019

Summer Sun Protection 101

Published 9:57 am

Summer is definitely the season for having fun under the sun. It’s the only time where it’s warm enough to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities like going to music festivals or to the beach. It’s also the time of the year best suited for going on vacations or camping trips.

However, it’s not all fun and games when the summer season comes. At least, not when it comes to sun protection. The sun is its brightest and hottest during the summer and, if you’re not careful, you’ll get more than you bargained for at the end of the season. These days, it’s all too easy to get sunburnt, dehydrated, or, even worse, a heatstroke. Not to mention the risk of getting skin cancer is higher during the summer.

While no one is scaring you off from enjoying a nice day under the summer sun, it is vital to think about your vulnerable skin and how extended periods of sun exposure can negatively affect it. Protect yourself from the worst and you’ll be able to make the most out of your summer.

Summer Essentials

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you’re well equipped to handle the summer sunlight. You don’t need a lot, just a few reasonable essentials worth keeping with you every day.

Sunscreen

A good sized bottle of sunscreen should be your best friend this summer. The sun’s UV rays can be very harmful to your skin so you need sunscreen to protect you from the radiation. It might take you a few tries to find the sunscreen that best works for your skin but once you find the one for you, it’s going to be worth it. Look for a bottle with an SPF of at least 30 – the higher the SPF, the better. Don’t believe the myth that the SPF number doesn’t matter because it does.

Make sure that you apply sunscreen to the exposed areas of your body at least thirty minutes before you go out. Lather on a fair amount and reapply every two hours throughout the day. If you’re out swimming, wear waterproof sunscreen.

Sunglasses

Your eyes also need to be protected during the day and sunglasses are the perfect accessory to do so. Your eyes are sensitive to the sun’s UV rays and can be damaged if you don’t take the proper precautions. Lucky for you, there’s a wide array of stylish sunglasses you can don during the summer so, if you’re fashion-conscious, you have nothing to worry about.

Wearing sunglasses not only protect your eyes but also the sensitive skin around your eyes. You’ll be preventing early signs of wrinkles and crow’s feet with the right eyewear.

Sun Hats

Hats are very important during the summer since they cover the top of your head which you can’t apply sunscreen too. Moreover, it’s added protection for your head and neck. Wide-brimmed summer hats are the trend for a lot of ladies during the summer while baseball caps are a guy’s go-to headwear.

A good tip to remember when buying the perfect summer hat: get one that has dark underside brim. Brighter colors generally reflect more light. A hat with a bright underside won’t provide that much shade or protection for your face and neck.

Appropriate Clothes

Obviously, it’s not a good idea to fully cover yourself during a hot summer day. Long sleeves and thick pants might cover your skin but there’s a risk you might overheat under so much clothing. Wear loose-fitting clothes that will cover most of your skin but also give you the freedom to stay cool under the sun. Thicker and darker fabric is generally better for sun protection.

You can also get UPF clothing – sun protective clothing – online or at the store if you’re spending most of your time outside and need the most protection.

Water Bottle

Finally, never forget to carry around a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated and cool. Make it an expressed goal to finish your bottle at the end of the day. During the summer, you tend to sweat more because of the heat and lose liquids faster than any other time of the year. Don’t wait until your body demands you to rehydrate. Drink water every hour or two.

When you’re dehydrated, your skin is more vulnerable to the harmful UV rays. You’ll get sunburned and even increase your chances of developing wrinkles from the damage. That’s why it’s important to consistently drink water. Avoid caffeinated drinks (coffees and teas) which can be more dehydrating than hydrating.

Sun Protection Tips

  • If possible, avoid going out when the sun’s UV rays are at its peak intensity which is at ten in the morning until two in the afternoon.
  • When you are outside, stay under the shade as much as possible.
  • Reflective surfaces like water and sand increase risks of sun damage which is why people get the most sunburns at the beach. It’s important to wear as much sun protection and take every safety precaution possible when you’re at the beach.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants every day. Antioxidants can help protect your body from UV rays.
  • Tanning is scientifically proven to be unhealthy. Dermatologists advise against tanning and tanning beds. According to experts, there’s no such thing as a “healthy tan.” In actuality, a tan is a sign of skin damage. Don’t subject your skin to tanning salons in an effort to look sun-kissed. It’s unhealthy and can lead to skin cancer in the long run.
  • Don’t forget about your lips. Wear lip balm with SPF protection and regularly reapply throughout the day. You don’t want cracked lips during the summer.
  • Summer nights can actually be more fun than days since you don’t have to constantly hide from the glare of the sun. There are plenty of outdoor activities you can do at night. Swimming in a pool can be more enjoyable when the sun sets though you do have to be careful of the chill at night after swimming.
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