Here are a number of basic sun protection tips to help reduce the risks of sun damage:
After a long cold winter it’s hard not to shed our layers and bask in the glorious heat of the sun and to shower our skin in the warmth of its rays. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any precautions. Everyone knows that too much sun exposure can be harmful, to our eyes, your skin, to our youthful appearance and to our health.
- Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Seek shade. If there is no shade, create your own with an umbrella.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.
- Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Look for a broad-spectrum product that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a higher SPF if you will be spending longer periods of time outdoors, if you have fair skin, or if your doctor recommends it.
- Women who are pregnant and those taking oral contraceptives may be at risk for darker pigmentation on the cheeks and forehead (“pregnancy mask”). If you are in this group, use a sunscreen with SPF 30 that has both UVA and UVB protection.
- If you feel you must have a tan, use a self-tanning cream or bronzer, but remember that self-tanning products do not provide sun protection.
- Check the UV index daily and take appropriate precautions. This information is readily available online.
Skin Types and Reaction to the Sun’s Rays