The sun is shining, the surf swells are getting higher and the ocean is glittering. It’s time to hit the beach! And, like every summer, more people than at any other time of year are doing just that—enjoying the great outdoors.
Even if they aren’t surfing and swimming, they’re hiking, cycling, running, walking and even gardening, all in full view of the sun’s rays. While a little sun gives you an extra daily dose of vitamin D and an attractive tan, too much ultraviolet light can damage your skin, harm your eyes or even cause skin cancer.
So how do you avoid getting baked outdoors this summer? The time to think about this is before Summer comes. Here are just a few ideas:
- Dress appropriately. If you know your hiking trip will expose you to the sun for eight hours, wear a wide-brim hat, light full-length pants and a bright-colored (or white) and thin long-sleeve shirt. If you’re headed to the beach, wear a t-shirt, a hat and sunglasses in between time in the waves. Popularizing the farmer tan could save your skin and perhaps even your life in the long run.
- Use a Sunscreen like Sun Shades™ on any exposed part of your body and apply it well in advance. If you have greasy skin, or if you’ve been swimming or sweating, apply more sunscreen every hour. Check the expiration (or expiry date if you’re in Canada) on your sunscreen and make certain it’s current. Sunscreens don’t last forever!
- Check the UV index on the Epa.gov website before you go. Even if the UV index is low (2 or less), your skin can burn after an hour outdoors. If the UV index is high (6 or 7), you’ll want to stay indoors, particularly from 10 a.m. to 4 .m., the sun’s peak hours. If it’s extreme (11+), take every precaution and avoid going outdoors if possible. In those circumstances, you can burn in only 10 minutes. White sand, snow, high altitudes, water and even concrete can all increase the amount of U.V. rays you’re exposing your skin to. Will you be around any of those when you get to your destination?
- Avoid tanning beds like the plague. They’re often advertised as healthy sources of vitamin D, but nothing could be further from the truth.
- Drink plenty of liquids to avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration.
- Pay attention to your skin. If you have freckles, sensitive skin, a pale complexion or if you’re on medication that makes your skin more sensitive to light, take extra precautions and limit your time outdoors.
- Never allow your skin to burn. Even one sunburn can significantly increase your chances of contracting skin cancer.
Any other ideas to avoid getting baked this summer or anything to add? Speak up Sun worshipers and save our skin!