With summer just around the corner, thoughts of beach days and warm summer afternoons spent in the sun are filling the heads of adults and children alike. Natural sunlight is important for the body, for synthesizing vitamin D, regulating the hormones and working with the sleep/wake cycle. However, too much sunlight can harm the skin cells, causing them to become red and damaged. Over time, these damaged cells can lead to other more concerning diseases, such as skin cancer. Here are five tips for how you can prevent sunburn while still enjoying the summer.
Choose the Right Sunscreen
If you head to your local drugstore, you will quickly see that you have dozens if not hundreds of options when it comes to sunscreen. From spray-on to rub-on options and with offers of different skin-protectant promises, it can be difficult to know which one will be best for your skin. Always choose an option that protects against UVA and UVB rays and that has an SPF of at least 30. Be sure to apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading outside, and reapply often.
Go Out at the Right Time
The sun is stronger at certain times of the day, particularly in the mid-afternoon. Try to schedule most of your outdoor activities for morning or evening when you can still enjoy long summer days but do not have to worry about burning your skin.
Stay in the Shade
When you must be outside during the hottest and brightest part of the day, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. Invest in a large umbrella for the beach, or consider installing awnings over your patio and deck. The shade will keep you cooler as well.
Wear the Right Clothes
Clothes can protect you a bit from the sun although the best clothing options for outdoor enthusiasts are those with SPF built right into the fibers. Also consider wearing a hat with a large brim to protect your ears and the top of your head. To protect your eyes, which can also be harmed by the sun’s rays, wear polarized sunglasses.
Try a Natural Protectant
If you want even deeper skin protection, you may want to consider an internal “sunscreen.” Astaxanthin is a natural supplement sourced from algae that can protect the skin to a certain extent. Many people report that their skin tans nicely when taking this supplement but that they do not burn as quickly.
If you are sunburned, it is important to treat your hurt skin quickly. Immediately get out of the sun, and take a cool bath. Use aloe or another natural skin protectant to heal the area. If your skin blisters, you may need to go see your doctor who will also be able to give you more tips for avoiding sunburn in the future.