Warm summer days are upon us, which means you’ll be spending a lot more time in the sun. But keep this in mind: June is sun safety month. It may seem like common sense, but there are some simple sun safety tips you can use to decrease your risk of developing skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. It’s scary to think 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer. But it’s also important to remember that most skin cancers can be prevented.
Here are some sun safety tips you can implement all year long.
Sun Safety Tip 1: Avoid Peak Hours
You don’t have to completely avoid the sun; just take some precautions. If you can, try not to be out in the sun between 10a.m. and 2 p.m. because this is when the sun's rays are strongest. We know this is not always possible but when you can, plan activities for times of the day when you will be exposed to less sun. When you are outside, try to stay in the shade when you can.
Sun Safety Tip 2: Wear Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Apply an ample amount of a sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher and that provides protection from UVA and UVB rays. This should be done 30 minutes before you go outside. Remember to reapply sunscreen as needed and to include the areas people tend to forget like the back of knees, ears, and the tops of feet and hands.
Sun Safety Tip 3: Wear Protective Clothing
There is clothing made from fabric designed to protect you from the sun's rays. You can purchase some of this clothing but you probably won't be able to wear it all the time. Your regular clothes, such as loose-fitting shirts with long sleeves, can provide some protection from the sun. Make sure to wear sunglasses with UV ray protection and a wide-brimmed hat that covers your scalp, neck, ears and eyes.
Sun Safety Tip 4: Consider Water and Sweat Resistance
If you’re going to be splashing around at the pool or exercising in the sun, you probably want to also find a sunscreen that holds up against water and sweat. It’s important to note that no sunscreens are completely waterproof, so you’ll still need to reapply on a regular basis. However, the FDA does approve certain sunscreens for either 40 or 80 minutes of water resistance.
Sun Safety Tip 5: Consider Skin Sensitivity
If you are someone who has sensitive skin or skin allergies, you may want to steer clear of sunscreens that contain para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) or added fragrances. Try a sunscreen designated for children—it’s more likely to be gentle on your skin.
Sun Safety Tip 6: Consider Chemicals
The active ingredients in sunscreens are either chemical (UV rays are absorbed) or mineral (UV rays are reflected). There are pros and cons of both, but many people are gravitating toward the more natural mineral options to minimize the amount of chemicals they use on their skin. However, this often comes down to a personal choice and preference, so just be sure to research your options.
Now that you know how to protect yourself from the summer sun, it’s time to get out and enjoy the warm weather. Download our free Summer Fun Guide to some great events in Northeast Ohio.