Getting outside to tan, hike, or swim can be an enjoyable way to soak in the sun and get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Despite some of the benefits however, there are also risks to exposing yourself to too much ultraviolet (UV) light, such as premature skin aging, vision problems, and skin cancer. Even on a cloudy day or during the winter, UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and cause damage.
Follow these tips to protect yourself year-round from UV light:
The CDC recommends that people wear a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours, especially after swimming and sweating. It’s also important to check the expiration date of the sunscreen; if it has no expiration date, the shelf life is no more than three years. There are moisturizers with SPF, so you can protect your skin with no extra steps.
Wearing sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat can help protect your eyes from vision damage caused by UV light. If you have an extended day in the sun, and the weather’s not too hot, consider throwing on a long-sleeved shirt or pants that will block your skin from UV exposure.
Get in the shade:
When you can, it’s important to spend time in the shade. Getting under a shelter, an umbrella, or even a tree will prevent further exposure to UV light. As you sit in the shade, remember to reapply your sunscreen and rehydrate with water.
As you soak in the sun, whether this summer or when the weather gets cooler, use these tips to protect yourself from UV light. Make sure to wear your sunscreen, and when you can cover up and get in the shade. Remember, UV safety isn’t just for summer, it’s important year-round.