You may think that your daily sunscreen is enough to keep back harmful UV rays and keep you skin cancer-free, but a more thorough approach is best.
Below are some tips on ways to protect your skin that you may not have considered.
Thorough Sun Protection
The sun tends to be highest and strongest between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, so you should be careful to stay out of the sun as much as possible during that time. Try hitting the beach or going for a swim in the early morning or late afternoon instead.
Protect commonly neglected skin areas by wearing 1) sunscreen body lotion with an SPF of 15 or higher, 2) a UV-protective lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher, 3) a wide-brimmed hat (which covers the often-overlooked ears and back of the neck), 4) UV-protective sunglasses (to protect the eyes and prevent cataracts), and 5) sun-protective clothing.
Sunscreen is usually only applied to sun-exposed areas of skin, but guess what? If your clothing isn’t sun protective too, skin underneath that clothing will also be in danger. You should, therefore, apply sunscreen to your entire body before getting dressed and wear sun-protective clothing.
Here’s a test you can perform on your clothing to see if it has sufficient protection from the sun: Hold the garment up to a light and if you can see the shape of the bulb shining through, you need more protection. There are companies out there that specialize in creating the type of clothing you will need.
The clothing is usually lightweight, tightly woven, and designed for comfort and maximum protection. If you don’t want to bother with purchasing special clothing, just make sure you use SPF 15 sunscreen over your entire body (even underneath your clothing) and reapply every couple of hours.
For those of you out there who have just got to have a tan, visiting a tanning salon or lying out for long hours in the sun isn’t your only answer. Furthermore, that’s just plain dangerous. Instead, try using self-tanning products, which are perfectly safe and give you the same look you’re going for with these other harmful methods.
A word of caution, though, is that self-tanning products often don’t have sun protection. Though there are some that do, they will only provide the 2-hour general protection that regular sunscreens do, so you will either have to keep reapplying or use sunscreen instead.
The result of too much sun can be sunburn, sunstroke, skin cancer and the like. Melanomas (benign or malignant pigmented tumors) can be deadly if not caught early on, so if you notice any new moles, spots, freckles or other changes in your skin, consult your dermatologist right away. Have fun in the sun, but be safe!