Safe Fun in the Sun
Sun exposure is good for you, in moderate doses. It’s been proven that people with regular time in the sun are healthier. The sun provides you with Vitamin D, and fresh air and exercise are always good for you. If you’re outside in the summer sun for short bursts, you’ll feel better and look better. But make sure that you apply sunscreen to your face (always!), and other exposed parts of your body when you’re staying out longer than a few minutes. On days when you know that your time in the sun is going to be extended, use a good, broad spectrum sunscreen and use it all over.
I know you hear the term all the time, but do you know exactly what a broad spectrum sunscreen is? That’s a sunscreen that protects you against both UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are the ones that give you sunburn, which can dry out your skin and make you very uncomfortable. Not to mention that it can cause long term skin damage. UVA rays get down into the underlying layers of your skin, and cause wrinkling, age spots, and even skin cancer. You always want to make sure that you choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Whenever possible, always use hats, clothing that breathes (natural fibers like silk, linen, or cotton) with you, and shade to block the sun. If you stay in the shade – or shade your body – you’ll help avoid sun damage to your skin. If you can avoid prolonged sun exposure between 10 and 2, you’ll reduce the possibility of sunburn. But if it can’t be avoided, make sure that you apply plenty of sunblock. Then reapply it after exertion or swimming.
If you have children, it’s especially important to apply sunscreen. Sunburns, especially in young children, are the leading cause of skin cancer. Your child can sunburn quickly, and you want to make sure that you use sunscreen for kids to prevent them.
Enjoy your time in the sun, but be careful not to burn. Sunscreen, hats, and the right kind of clothing can help reduce over exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen before you go out, and then reapply it if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time.