Health and Wellness

Stay Safe in the Sun with these Sun Safety Tips

Chris Yun, MDby Chris Yun, MD
Stay Safe in the Sun with these Sun Safety Tips

Lounging around at the beach all day is one of summer’s joys. But it’s important to stay protected from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays don’t just cause sunburns – they also lead to lasting skin damage, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancers.

In this blog post, we'll explore various ways that you can help yourself and your loved ones stay sun-safe this summer.

Save your skin

Keep all exposed parts of your skin generously coated in sunscreen when you’re spending time outside. Since you’ll be applying and reapplying your sunscreen several times per day in the summer, it’s a good idea to find a formula that’s made with high-quality, proven ingredients and one that you feel comfortable wearing.

  • Make sure that titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are the only active ingredients. These are safe and effective and do not absorb into your body.

  • Look for sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

  • Pay close attention to the SPF (sun protection factor). The SPF that’s right for you (and your family) depends on how easily your skin burns. If your skin burns easily, choose SPF 50 or 60. However, if you plan on spending an equal amount of time in the sunshine and shade, and your skin doesn’t burn easily, you could get away with a lower SPF like 30 or 40.

  • Make sure you select a clean sunscreen that is water-resistant if you’re going to be swimming in a lake, ocean, or any other body of water. Even with water-resistant formulas, you should be reapplying sunscreen after you get out of the water.

  • For people with problematic skin and those who struggle with clogged pores and acne, a non comedogenic sunscreen can help to keep your skin clear.

 

Starting with a generous application of broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and a lip balm, which also contains SPF, is a great place to start. Most adults require around one ounce of sunscreen (about enough to fill a shot glass) to cover their entire body and it should be applied around 15 to 20 minutes before stepping foot outside. Sunscreens should be reapplied to your face and body around every two hours and more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.

 

Guard your eyesight

It’s important to remember that not all sunglasses are made equally -- some are just for fashion purposes while others provide protection from UVA and UVB rays. Your eyes are also susceptible to sun damage, which over time can lead to eye problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. 

Be sure to pack sunglasses that provide 100% protection (i.e. polarized sunglasses) from all UV rays for yourself and your family members every time you leave the house in the summer.

Cover up!

If you don’t want to use sunscreen, simply cover up your skin with light, breathable fabrics to block the sun’s UV rays. Wide brimmed hats and shade will keep you cool and protected as well. 

The sun’s peak hours are typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Going to the beach either before or after these times will go a long way to preventing sunburn and longer-term damage.

Additionally, staying hydrated is another key component to sun safety. By drinking around one cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes, you could avoid coming down with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be caused by dehydration. Both of these conditions are extremely unpleasant- even dangerous- and can put you out of commission for a couple of days.

FAQ

What are 5 tips to stay safe in the sun?

Juno Medical’s five tips to keep you and your family safe in the sun this summer include:

  1. Take a break from the direct sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. as this is when the UV rays are the strongest. Instead, seek shade and stay hydrated.

  2. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and opt for one that is at least SPF 30.

  3. Wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a hat.

  4. Think about buying sun-safe, UV protective clothing that can be worn when you aren’t swimming in the water.

  5. Don’t forget about your lips. It’s important to frequently apply a lip balm that also contains SPF protection.

How to stay safe in the heat?

There are plenty of ways one can stay safe and cool in the summer heat. Consider these tips:

  • Drink one glass of water every 15 to 20 minutes as this will keep you hydrated. Remember that beverages containing alcohol can do the opposite.

  • If you’re overheating, a cool shower will reduce your body temperature.

  • Choose clothing that’s lightweight and breathable, like pieces made from linen.

  • Stay in the shade or air-conditioned indoor spaces on really hot days.

  • Don’t leave children or pets in cars, even with the windows open, and even for short periods of time.

What should you not do in the heat?

Even though going for a run or long hike on a hot, sunny day might sound like a fun idea, it can be quite the opposite. Strenuous activity should be avoided in the heat of the day, particularly between noon and 3 p.m. If you’re having a picnic or spending time at the beach, opt for water instead of coffee, tea, carbonated sugary beverages, and alcoholic beverages as these can be dehydrating.

What should you do if you get a sunburn?

Sunburns can be painful but thankfully, there are several things one can do to ease some of the discomfort:

  • Take a pain reliever.

  • Cool the skin with a cold, wet towel or washcloth. Once your skin is feeling less hot, apply a moisturizer, after-sun cream, or aloe vera gel. Products that contain soy can also be very soothing.

  • Stay extra hydrated.

  • Avoid touching or popping blisters as this can lead to infections and scarring.

  • Avoid putting ice packs directly on sunburnt skin.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing until your sunburn resolves.

How can you keep kids safe from the sun?

As parents or guardians, it’s your responsibility to make sure your child isn’t getting too much sun or exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Children should always be wearing a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, as well as a hat and sunglasses. After they’ve spent some time in the direct sun, encourage them to have a rest or play in a shaded area. It’s important that children also stay hydrated so have a water bottle available to them at all times.

The providers at Juno Medical are here to support you and your family. To book an appointment, click here.

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