One of the paradigms I’ve had to change over the last few years is my outlook on sun safety. I used to have the mindset that it was only vital to wear sunscreen when I was on vacation or swimming. However, I’ve learned just how important it is to practice sun safety as a regular part of your daily routine.
Sun Safety Dangers
Most of the dangers of over-exposure to the sun are very well-known. For example, things like skin cancer and sunburns are widely known to be hazards of being in the sun too long or not wearing sunscreen. It’s great that there is so much awareness of these dangers! But, many other dangers are less widely known, such as eye damage, wrinkles, and even a weakened immune system. So, in my opinion, the first step to sun safety is awareness of all of these dangers.
What Can I Do?
Understandably, the most common thing people will do to protect themselves from the sun is to apply sunscreen. If going in the sun is unavoidable, sunscreen is easily the most effective short-term protection. However, sunscreen on its own may not be enough, especially if you’re spending more than two hours in the sun or swimming. For proper protection, you should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, as well as after you swim or dry with a towel. Additionally, you should ensure your sunscreen is SPF 30 or greater, as it blocks around 97% of UV radiation compared to SPF 15’s 93%.
If you’ve been consistently in the sun for more than two hours, the best practice is to move to a shaded area. Prolonged exposure to the sun is hazardous to your skin, even if you’re wearing sunscreen.
Another important point I’d like to make is the importance of wearing sunscreen even if you’re not swimming or doing other outdoor activities. Dermatologists recommend applying facial sunscreen and body lotion with SPF each morning to act as base protection from the sun, in addition to reapplying several times per day. So, if you’d like a list of daily sun protection, check out this list by Cosmopolitan.
I hope this list has given you some helpful insights into how to stay safe in the sun. We are still going through a massive heatwave, so it’s critical to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe.
For more safety tips during this heatwave, please read our blog on hydration.