Did you know that using sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to prevent some million cases of cancer every year? It’s true and yet, many of us forget to use sunscreen, or we conveniently ignore its importance. A recent survey actually revealed that only 14% of men and 30% of women in American apply sunscreen on their faces before heading out for more than one hour.
So with the sun shining bright, we need to take the necessary precautions to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Here are the top ten tips you have to keep in mind in order to protect your skin as you head outside:
1- Be sure to use sunscreen, every single day (even if it’s cloudy).
2- Invest in a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against both UVB and UVA radiation. The sunscreen should be water resistant and should contain an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30, or higher.
Other sunscreens would protect you from getting sunburnt but it probably will not offer protection against skin cancer.
3- Apply a minimum of one ounce of sunscreen that is roughly enough to fill a shot glass. It should be applied at least 15 to 30 minutes before heading outside. For better protection, use a lipstick or lip balm that also contains sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
4- Sunscreen should be reapplied once every two hours and if you are sweating or swimming, it should be reapplied every hour.
5- Be especially careful around sand and water. Since these surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, it increases the chances of getting a sunburn too.
6- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts if possible. Wearing dark clothing with tightly woven fabrics can block more sun than white coloured or loosely woven fabrics. For that extra protection, you might also want to look for garments made out of special sun-protective materials.
7- Babies under the age of six months must be kept completely covered and in the shade.
8- Opt for accessories like a wide-brimmed hat that can shade your face, neck, and ears, or sunglasses. Sunglasses with lenses that have a 100% UV absorption will provide maximum protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
9- Try to limit the time you spend under the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. This is the time where the rays of the sun are most intense so it’s better to remain under the shade during these times. Besides, you can even practice the shadow rule – this is basically when you notice that your shadow is shorter than you, it means that the sun’s rays are extremely strong and this is when you should seek out the shade.
10- If you are under medications that could make your skin more sensitive to the sun, you should be extremely cautious. This includes certain types of anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, blood pressure medications, antifungals, and chemotherapies.