Although the sun has several benefits, ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin if you are doing little to protect yourself. According to Cancer Research UK, skin cancer deaths in the country have risen by 150% since the 1970s. Therefore, it is vital to take precautions to protect yourself against complications that can arise from prolonged sun exposure. That said, here are four handy tips to protect yourself from sun damage.
- Accessorise with a hat and sunglasses
Apart from being trendy, adding a hat and a pair of sunglasses to your look will protect you from sun damage. Experts recommend wearing a broad-brimmed hat with at least a two-inch brim that covers exposed areas like your eyes, nose, ears and forehead. Straw hats and baseball caps are not as effective in protecting you. UV-blocking sunglasses will protect your eyes and surrounding skin. Many optometrists advise that shades are not necessarily protecting your eyes because UV protection comes from a chemical in your lens and not its darkness. Therefore, always check the labels on glasses for “UV absorption” confirmation to ensure that you receive the best protection when you are outside.
- Use sunscreen
Scientists have established a link between UV rays and skin cancer, meaning your unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays leaves your skin vulnerable to damage. Avoiding the sun is the surest but an impractical way of preventing sun damage. This is why you should use sunscreen for protection when you are outside. Many skincare experts recommend that you choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) number. You should apply sunscreen on all areas of your exposed skin at least thirty minutes before leaving home and reapply every two hours for best results. Colorescience has sunscreens that you should check out to protect you from the sun.
- Wear appropriate outfits
Your clothing is essential in protecting yourself from the sun. Wearing long pants, skirts, and long-sleeved shirts protect you from UV rays. On sunny days, wear darker clothing, as UV rays reflect off dark materials while penetrating the light fabric. You should wear clothes made from denim and polyester, as they block the sun’s rays too. Many companies now manufacture comfortable, protective clothing that protects against sun damage. Look for sun-protective clothes with high UV Protection Factors (UPF) to protect your skin.
- Limit your time in the sun
It would help if you reduced the time spent outside to protect you from sunburn and potential skin cancer. Research shows that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 am to 4 pm. Consequently, you should schedule outdoor activities in a way that circumvents this period. If you have to be outside within this time, bring an umbrella along or seek shade under trees and other shelters. Experts recommend practising the “shadow rule” for sun protection. The rule requires you to seek shade anytime your shadow is shorter than you, as this means the sun’s rays are too powerful. Doing this limits your sun exposure and prevents sunburn.