Staying Safe in the Summer Sun

Squeezing sunscreen into hand

Spending time outside is a great way to be active and reduce stress. However, the sun’s rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes, so it’s essential to protect your body from sun damage and skin cancer. Here are a few tips to protect yourself while enjoying the summer weather:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays that cause sunburn are the strongest.
  • Wear clothes made of tightly woven fabrics. Keep in mind that darker colors may also offer more ultraviolet (UV) protection than lighter colors.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shields your face, neck and ears.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Use sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor (SPF) value of 30. Reapply at least every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

Routinely inspect your skin for any spots or changes in color or appearance. If you have any concerns, see your doctor.

Know Your Sunscreen

Sunscreen labels must follow specific guidelines.

  • Broad-spectrum protection works against UVA (skin cancer and premature aging) and UVB (sunburn) rays.
  • SPF is the level of protection against UVB rays.
  • Depending on the brand, water-resistant sunscreen needs to be reapplied after either 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Sunscreens maintain their full strength for three years, but always check the expiration date.
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