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How to protect your skin from the summer sun

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Summer skin protection tips (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Try these summer skin protection tips.
  • Stay fresh and dewy all year long.
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Extended exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can significantly harm your skin, leading to not only sunburn but also long-term damage such as premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.

UV rays penetrate the skin and can damage its underlying structure, even on cloudy days when you might not expect sun damage.

Children and individuals with fair skin are particularly susceptible, though all skin types can suffer from harmful UV effects.

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Choosing the right sunscreen

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Selecting the right sunscreen is crucial in defending your skin against the harmful effects of UV rays.

Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays and have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.

It’s important to apply sunscreen generously on all exposed skin, including often-missed spots like the tops of the feet, the neck, and the ears.

For continuous protection, reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating, to maintain effective coverage.

Wearing appropriate clothing

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While sunscreen helps protect exposed skin, wearing the right clothing can offer additional protection.

Long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats made from tightly woven fabric provide the best defense against UV rays.

For those who spend a lot of time outdoors, specially designed sun-protective clothing, which comes with its own UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, can be an excellent investment.

Such clothing is especially useful for children or for water activities where sunscreen may wash off more easily.

Summer skin protection tips: Seek shade and plan outdoor activities wisely

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The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so planning outdoor activities outside these hours can reduce your UV exposure significantly.

Seeking shade under umbrellas, trees or canopies provides a physical barrier from the sun, but remember that UV rays can reflect off surfaces like water, sand and concrete.

When possible, organize outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less direct.

If you need to be outdoors during peak hours, try to take regular breaks in shaded areas to minimize your UV exposure.

Using extra protection for your face and eyes

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Your face and eyes are particularly vulnerable to UV damage due to their constant exposure to sunlight.

Wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection is essential to shield your eyes and the surrounding skin from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts and skin cancers around the eyelids.

Lip balms with SPF can also protect the delicate skin of your lips from sunburns.

For facial skin, consider using a daily moisturizer with SPF even on days when you don’t plan to be outside extensively.

Educating young ones about sun safety

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Educating children about the importance of sun safety is crucial for developing lifelong habits.

Teach children to apply sunscreen themselves and make wearing hats and sunglasses a regular part of their outdoor routine.

Schools and sports organizations can also play a role in protecting children by scheduling events outside of peak sun exposure times and encouraging sun safety practices.

Instilling these habits early can help mitigate the risks of severe skin damage later in life.

Regular skin checks and professional advice

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Regular self-examinations of your skin can help you notice changes or new growths that may require professional evaluation.

Dermatologists recommend doing a thorough skin check every month to look for new or changing moles, freckles, or any unusual skin changes.

If you notice anything concerning, scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist can provide peace of mind and necessary treatment.

Preventive visits and consultations can be crucial in detecting skin cancer early when it’s most treatable.

Natural Medicine
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