4 Easy Sun Protection Steps to Take This Summer
Posted byLibby Mullen
As summer approaches, you’re probably making plans with friends to head to the beach, the mountains or a lakeside hideaway. In order to avoid becoming one of the 9,500 people that the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says is diagnosed with skin cancer every day, you should make sure protecting your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays is a key part of those plans.1 Here are four easy ways to boost your sun protection techniques while still enjoying the great outdoors with your girls.
1. Sunscreen, Early and Often
By applying sunscreen every day, you can cut your risk of melanoma in half, according to the AAD.1 The American Cancer Society recommends picking a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection, with an SPF of 30 or higher. Be sure to read the labels and follow the instructions carefully. It can be tough to keep an eye on the time when you’re in the pool or wading at the beach, but even “water-resistant” sunblock has to be reapplied every 40 to 80 minutes. Watch out for expiration dates, too.2
2. Avoid Tanning Beds
Just because you’re staying out of the sun doesn’t mean you’re staying safe. The AAD attributes 400,000 cases of skin cancer to indoor tanning, and all of Australia’s states and territories have banned tanning beds completely, according to the American Journal of Public Health.1,3 Pick up some bronzer at your favorite makeup store if you’re seeking a sunkissed look.
3. Shady Isn’t a Bad Thing
If your favorite summer activity is curling up on a beach chair with a good book, you can still safely do so if you prop up a big umbrella to protect you from the sun’s rays. This is especially essential at peak UV-exposure hours, which the American Cancer Society says are between 10 am and 4 pm. Don’t be fooled by the clouds, though. Some types of clouds can reflect the sun’s UV rays and increase their harmful effects.4 Even a big, floppy hat can provide significant sun protection.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Eyes
It’s not only your skin that needs protection from the sun; your eyes can be affected, too. Excess sun exposure may increase your risk for cataracts, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most sunglasses that you buy in the U.S. include UVA and UVB ray protection, but look for a pair that is large enough to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.5
Proper sun protection techniques won’t just help you avoid the pain of skin cancer. A study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that daily sunscreen use could help reduce the appearance of aging on the skin.6 Whatever your reason for prioritizing skin care, it can be easy to have fun and be safe in the sun this summer.
1“Skin Cancer” American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-cancer
2“How Do I Protect Myself from UV Rays?” American Cancer Society. May 22, 2017. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/uv-protection.html
3Craig A. Sinclair, Jennifer Kay Makin, Anita Tang, Irena Brozek, and Vanessa Rock, “The Role of Public Health Advocacy in Achieving an Outright Ban on Commercial Tanning Beds in Australia,” American Journal of Public Health. January 16, 2014. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301703
4“What Is Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation?” American Cancer Society. April 19, 2017. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/what-is-uv-radiation.html
5“Sun Safety” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 25, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm
6Maria Celia B. Hughes, Gail M. Williams, Peter Baker, Adèle C. Green, “Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging: A Randomized Trial,” Annals of Internal Medicine. June 4, 2013. http://annals.org/aim/article/1691733/sunscreen-prevention-skin-aging-randomized-trial
- Posted by Libby Mullen
- On July 21, 2017