7 Way to Protect Yourself From the Sun

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Summer is basically here and so is the hot sun! While the sunshine and the beach can be great, harmful UV rays can cause a lot of damage to your body. Make sure you stay sun savvy with these 7 summer weather tips.

1. Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses help shield your eyes from damaging UV rays. Exposure to UV rays is linked to cataracts and forms of vision degeneration. Even if you aren’t looking directly at the sun, chances are your eyes are still being exposed to the effects of it. For the best protection, sunglasses should be of good quality, free from scratches or imperfections on the lenses, and fit properly on your head. Make sure that the lenses wrap around and are close to your eyes in order to limit damaging rays from sneaking through.

2. Apply Sunscreen

To protect your skin from cancer, sunburn, and other forms of damage, opt for sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF and provides broad spectrum protection. Broad spectrum protects against both UVA and UVB rays making sure your skin stays safe. Make sure to thoroughly rub on sunscreen and don’t forget any spots that may become exposed to the sun like your ears or your face. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and make sure to reapply every two hours and also when you come out of the water.

3. Wear SPF Lip Balm

Yes, even your lips can suffer the effects of sun exposure. It’s ridiculously painful having sunburned lips, and you will feel it every time you smile, talk, or eat. Avoid this discomfort with something you use all the time! Check your lip balm for at least 15 SPF and reapply frequently.

4. Wear Hats

Hats or visors can block your face from direct exposure so make sure to wear one if you plan to be out in the sun for a while. While this type of protection is great, hats can’t block out everything so remember to wear sunscreen as well. Extra protection can never hurt, and the sensitive skin on your face needs all the protection it can get.

5. Use a Cover-Up

If you will be spending lots of time outside or in the water, all of your skin does not need to be exposed the entire time. When you towel off and reapply sunscreen, a cover-up can help keep you protected as the sunscreen sinks in. These are also handy when you decide to walk around, grab a bite to eat, or as extra protection in case you stay out in the sun longer than you expected.

6. Keep Car Windows Up

According to a study in the Journal or the American Academy of Dermatology, more than half of the cases of skin cancer occur on a person’s left side. Driving isn’t exactly to blame, but you can see how the connection has been made and why people are rolling up windows! Car windows can be treated to keep out a large percentage of both UVA and UVB rays, but direct exposure through an open window is the most dangerous. On road trips, remember to use sunscreen, cover up, and limit the time the windows are down.

7. Limit Exposure in the Afternoon

Unfortunately, the sun’s rays are the strongest during the afternoon hours (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) when most people are at amusement parks, the beach, the pool, and sports arenas. If possible, try to cover-up during these times and limit how much time you spend in direct sunlight. It may be the perfect time to shop, eat, or relax with friends in the shade. While exposure to the sun can be dangerous at any point during the day (even if it’s cloudy!), these hours will be the hottest, and your skin will be the most vulnerable to damage.

Our Writers

Callie will graduate this May from Texas State University with a degree in Creative Writing and will then move to California to pursue a career as an editor. She loves F. Scott Fitzgerald, Once Upon a Time, her dog, swimming, books, red velvet cupcakes, and peppermint tea.

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