Health Advocate Blog

8 tips to help you enjoy the sunshine safely

As the summer sun shines brightly, it’s essential to remember that while spending time in the sunlight can have some benefits, it can also pose risks to our skin and eyes if we don’t take proper precautions. Here are some tips to help you stay safe so that you can enjoy the warm weather knowing that you’re protected from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Use sunscreen–it’s your first line of defense! Applying sunscreen is one of the most crucial steps in protecting your skin from sun damage. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 and apply it generously to all exposed areas of your skin, including your face, neck, and hands. Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.

Be sure to wear sunscreen anytime you’re outside during the day, even if it isn’t sunny. The sun’s rays can still penetrate through clouds, so even on overcast days it’s essential to wear sunscreen.

Protect your lips. Apply a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30 to keep your lips moisturized and protected from sunburn, and to help prevent skin cancer.

Choose the right sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and opt for wraparound styles or those with large lenses to provide additional protection by blocking the sun’s rays from entering your eyes from the sides.

Wear protective clothing. Cover up with lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Choose clothing made from fabrics with a tight weave or those labeled as UV-blocking or sun-protective.

Protect your face and scalp with a hat. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that fits well, shades your face, and provides coverage for your entire scalp, especially where you part your hair. This is especially important if your hair is thin or you are bald or have bald spots.

Seek shade. When the sun is at its strongest, usually between 10 AM and 4 PM, try to stay in the shade whenever possible. Find a shady spot under a tree, umbrella, or canopy, or simply stay indoors during the peak hours.

Take extra safety measures with children. Children’s skin is more delicate and sensitive to the sun’s rays, so it’s crucial to take extra precautions when they’re outdoors. Keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight. For older children, help them use sunscreen liberally, dress them in protective clothing, and encourage them to play in shaded areas.

Check your medications. Some medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. If you’re taking any medications, consult with your healthcare provider about any potential risks and take extra precautions when spending time outdoors.

By following these simple tips and making sun safety a priority, you can enjoy the summer sun while protecting your skin and eyes from harm.