The warmer weather is finally here and we are all itching to get outside and soak up some sun.
However, just because you might still need a light jacket, doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen.
May is skin cancer awareness month. Protect yourself and your family by practicing sun safety, and routinely checking skin for any abnormalities.
Wear sunscreen everyday (yes, even if it is cloudy)
This rule holds true all year long. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. And up to 80 percent of UV rays can be reflected by snow. So always apply sunscreen, even on cloudy days and throughout the winter months. This is especially true for downhill skiers and snowboarders as the higher the altitude, the greater the UV exposure.
Use the right sunscreen
Not all sunscreens are created equal. Just because a sunscreen keeps you from getting a burn, doesn’t mean it will protect against skin cancer. Be vigilant with your skin and use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It should also be water resistant and offer an SPF of at least 30.
Apply it properly
If you quickly slather on sunscreen right before heading out the door, you’re doing it wrong. About an ounce of sun screen should be applied at least 15 minutes before going outside so that it has time to soak into the skin and work properly. You will also need to liberally reapply it every two hours; up that to every hour if you are swimming or sweating.
Follow the shadow rule
While it is recommended to avoid being out in the sun between 10am and 4pm, that just isn’t always possible. Instead, you could use this trick: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest, making it the most important time to seek shade.
The sun can cause damage while inside
If you spend a lot of time indoors by a window or driving a car you are not protected against UVA rays, unless you are wearing sunscreen. UVA rays penetrate deeper than UVB rays, they can also penetrate through windows. So even if you won’t be outside for more than half an hour but will be right next to a window, you should be applying sunscreen to exposed skin – particularly the face, arms and hands.
You may need to wear sunscreen under your clothes
You read that right. Summer clothing is often light to keep us cool and comfortable, but that means it can also let UV radiation get through. Hold clothes up to the light, if you can see through it, then UV rays can get through as well.
After sun skin care
Whether you got a tan, a burn, or no noticeable change to your skin, everyone should take care of their skin after being out in the sun. Start by rinsing off exposed skin to get rid of any sweat, dirt and sunscreen. Then apply a product that contains Vitamin E.
One of the greatest attributes of vitamin E is its ability to protect your skin from the sun. When applied topically, it shields the skin from early stages of ultraviolet light damage and has been shown to improve the efficacy of sunscreen, improving your skin’s defence against both UVA and UVB rays. And due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E reduces the formation of free radicals when skin is exposed to UVA rays.
If your skin burned, a combination of vitamin E and aloe vera will greatly reduce the severity of a sunburn while helping heal the skin.