Effective sun protection goes far beyond just applying a sunscreen and going about your day. In fact, there are numerous small yet effective ways that we can easily protect our skin from both sun damage and skin cancer. Here are five very easy ways to protect your skin from the sun all year-long.
- Use P.R.E.P. SPF 30 Face+Body Lotion. Having a SPF 30 containing the broad-spectrum sun-blocker zinc oxide (which can defend against both UVA and UVB rays), our sunscreen was formulated to defend delicate and developing teen and pre teen skin from the detriments of sun over-exposure. We also designed our sunscreen to contain the free radical-scavenging tocopherol (vitamin E), the anti-aging niacinamide, and the hydrating jojoba oil. In essence, it’s the perfect all-in-one sunscreen and moisturizer for those teens looking to protect and beautify their skin.
- Avoid the sun from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The sun’s rays are at their strongest from about 10:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon. While these may seem like peak hours to lounge by the pool or play a game of beach volleyball, this is also the riskiest time to expose your skin to the elements, even if you wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing. Some dermatologists may recommend avoiding the sun from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, but the point is that from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, you should avoid unnecessary sun exposure. (American Academy of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic).
- When you’re going to be outside all day, reapply your sunscreen every two hours at minimum. Regardless of being well-formulated or containing broad-spectrum ingredients, no sunscreen is suitable to last an entire day. For maximum skin protection, sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours at minimum, and should also be reapplied whenever you sweat profusely, are in the water, or towel-dry. Each time you reapply your sunscreen to the body when wearing a swimsuit, make sure to apply about one ounce of sunscreen – this is the equivalent of about two tablespoons of liquid. When wearing normal clothing and applying sunscreen to the face, neck, and arms, then you will need to use less sunscreen. People are notorious for applying only a fraction of that amount of sunscreen, which may in turn be a contributing factor to the thousands of cases of skin cancer each year. Don’t be another statistic; make sure to apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen, and reapply regularly (American Melanoma Foundation, Skin Cancer Foundation).
- Wear dark colors. Wearing darker colors may seem counterintuitive during the summer, but it may also be the difference between healthy, supple skin and premature aging. Darker colors are better able to absorb UV rays than lighter colors, and as such can prevent more rays from penetrating the skin. Thicker and reflective fabrics, like denim, silk, and corduroy, have tight weaves that also prevent a good deal of UV radiation from reaching the skin, whereas cotton and linen provide very little protection. If nothing else, consider this: a white cotton T-shirt can offer an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of about 7, whereas a long-sleeved denim shirt or jacket has about UPF 1,700 – in other words the denim shirt offers near-complete sun protection, whereas the white T-shirt will allow your skin to become burned and sun-damaged. So when shopping for this summer’s beachwear, make sure to look for outfits in darker colors like black, navy, emerald green, and a rich parrot-red (Skin Cancer Foundation, Skin Cancer Foundation). Or if this isn’t practical, consider buying clothing that has been treated to provide UV protection.
- Choose sun-protective accessories. Aside from making you look more fashionable, sunglasses can also lend a degree of sun-protection to your face. When selecting sunglasses, look for those that protect against 99% - 100% of UVA and UVB rays. GlassesRays with big lenses that wraparound the entire face can help keep additional rays from penetrating the eyes and surrounding skin. When selecting glasses keep in mind those with dark lenses won’t necessarily protect your skin; selecting sunglasses that offer broad-spectrum protection is much more important (Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Ophthalmology). Choosing large, wide-brimmed hats in darker colors can also offer sun protection to those areas of the face and head which are hard to apply sunscreen to, such as close to the hair line and the back of the neck (Skin Cancer Foundation).