How well do you know sun fact from sun fiction? As we start spending more time outside enjoying the warmer weather, it’s important to have our stats straight when it comes to keeping our skin protected and healthy.
Here are some definite Dos and Don’ts to having fun in the summer sun:
DO: Wear sunscreen no matter what your age.
Some people think that most of their sun exposure happens before they are 18, so once they hit adulthood they don’t need sunscreen. However, that couldn’t be more false. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that you only get about 23 percent of your lifetime sun exposure by 18, so be sure to put sunscreen on no matter your age.
DON’T: Forget to reapply.
You put sunscreen on! Hooray! Now you have to remember to reapply it regularly. Sunscreen isn’t made to last all day, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. Even the water-resistant stuff needs to be reapplied throughout the day. How often should you slather on another layer? On average, about every two hours is good if you’re dry.
DO: Give up the idea of a “safe” tan.
As much as we all hate hearing it, there is no such thing as a safe tan, unless you count sunless tanning lotions and creas. Laying out or using a tanning bed to get a base tan will do more harm to your skin than good.
DON’T: Rely on only sunscreen to keep you protected.
Even when wearing sunscreen it’s a good idea to cover up as much as possible or as much as the situation allows. If you’re at the beach or a lake, wear a cover-up when you’re not in the water. When you’re spending the day at an outdoor sports event, be sure to wear a hat. You don’t have to go around in long sleeves and long pants—it is summer after all—but try to stay as covered as is reasonable.
DO: Remember to protect your eyes.
Your skin isn’t the only part of you that can be damaged by the sun. Look for sunglasses that protect from UVA and UVB rays. If you’re a glasses wearer, invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses—your eyes will thank you!
DON’T: Forget your lips, ears, or scalp.
Be sure to protect all parts of your skin, not just the obvious places like your nose and arms. Find a chapstick you like that has sunscreen, and be sure to put a little sunscreen along your part and on the edges of your ears to prevent especially painful sunburns.
Your summer can be full of fun in the sun, and by protecting your skin, it can also be free of painful sunburns and long-lasting sun damage.