It only takes 15 minutes in the sun to damage your skin.
Before you head outside to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, here’s what you need to know to about sun safety and protecting your skin.
1. Always use sunscreen.
The sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens measures how well they are able to block ultraviolet (UV) rays. More protection is indicated by higher numbers. Even on chilly or partly overcast days, you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
The term “broad-spectrum” on a product’s label refers to the sunscreen’s ability to block both UVA and UVB radiation exposure. Deep-penetrating UVA photons are mostly to blame for early aging and skin cancer. Sunburn is a result of UVB radiation damaging the skin’s surface.
Don’t forget to apply a generous amount of sunscreen on any exposed skin. For difficult-to-reach areas like your back, get assistance. Here are some extra considerations for applying sunscreen:
Sunscreen deteriorates. If you remain in the sun for longer than two hours, after swimming, perspiring, or toweling off, reapply the sunscreen.
A sunscreen without an expiration date has a maximum shelf life of three years, however if it has been exposed to extreme temperatures, its shelf life is reduced. Make sure to verify the expiration date on your sunscreen.
Some of the same substances found in sunscreens are also found in some lip balms and cosmetics. Don’t use them on their own if they don’t have at least SPF 15.
2. Avoid peak sun.
Avoid scheduling outside activities between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
3. Find some shade.
By finding cover under a tree, umbrella, or other structure, you can lower your chance of developing skin damage and skin cancer. Be sure to protect your skin by using sunscreen or donning protective clothes, even while you are in the shade.