Summer is the best time to be outdoors, but if you don’t play it sun-safe, you’re looking at sunburn, eye damage, premature wrinkles and even skin cancer. You can avoid all of that with a few adjustments. Follow these safety tips, and whether you are heading to the lagoon like Lago Mar residents or a nearby outdoor destination, you can have plenty of fun in the sun.
Experts recommend that you avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest. Not a problem during the work week, but the weekend? How are you supposed to have any fun? If possible, limit the time you’ll be outside to a few hours. If not, find a shady tree or pavilion and hang out with family and friends.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Summer is a busy time. So busy, we forget to stay hydrated. Dehydration leads to all sorts of problems from heat stroke to bladder infections. Carry a bottle or hydro flask with you and be sure to sip all day. If you don’t like plain water, add fresh or frozen fruit. Steer clear of sugary sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and alcohol. They add calories you don’t need. Alcohol can dehydrate you further.
Don’t Feel the Burn
We all know we should slather on the sunscreen. We often don’t know what type of sunscreen to use or how often to apply it. Choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. These protect against the UVB rays that cause sunburn and the UVA rays that can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Your sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Higher SPF will protect you slightly more but often the difference is negligible. Re-apply every two hours for maximum protection. Remember, no sunscreen is truly waterproof and no sunscreen can provide 100 percent protection.
Okay, not literally, that would be silly. You should cover up as much as possible when you are in the sun. That means wearing clothes made of lightweight material that covers your arms and legs. Get in the habit of wearing hats every time you are outside. What about the pool? Many companies make swimsuits with SPF protection. When you are lounging poolside wear a cover-up.
You Have to Wear Shades
You don’t have to wear your sunglasses at night, but you should wear them during the day. Sunlight reflecting off sand and water increases your exposure to UV radiation. Don’t mistake a dark tint for UV protection. Choose glasses with a UV400 rating or that say they have 100 percent UV protection on the label. If you wear eyeglasses, invest in prescription sunglasses or transition lenses.
Check Your Prescription
Some antibiotics and other medications can increase sun sensitivity. If you use a product with retinol, that also can make you more susceptible to sunburn. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about possible sun-related side effects before heading outside.
Keep an Eye on the Kids
Summer is the perfect time to teach the kids about sun safety. Talk to them about why they must wear sunscreen. Don’t let them wear toy sunglasses to the pool. Let them pick sun-safe clothes when you go shopping.