When we're outdoors, we all know we need to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays. Of course, it's impossible to avoid the sun - who wants to hide indoors all summer when it feels so great to get outside and be active? And the sun's not all bad, anyway:
Sunlight helps our bodies create vitamin D. So follow these tips when you're outdoors to help manage sun exposure:
--> Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, even if it's cloudy or you don't plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. If you go swimming or plan to stay outside, reapply sunscreen (even if the bottle says the sunscreen is waterproof) every 2 to 3 hours.
--> Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Look for the words "broad spectrum protection" or UVA protection in addition to the SPF of 15 or greater. Select a sunscreen that says "nonacnegenic" or "noncomedogenic" on the label to help keep pores clear.
--> The sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, so make sure you reapply sunscreen frequently and take breaks indoors if you can. If your shadow is longer than you are tall, then it's a safer time to be in the sun (you should still wear sunscreen, though).
--> Apply more sunscreen (with higher SPF) when you're around reflective surfaces like water, snow, or ice.
--> We all know that the sun can damage skin, but did you know it can contribute to eye problems, too? Protect your face and eyes with a hat and sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.
--> Some medications, such as prescription acne medications or birth control pills, can increase your sensitivity to the sun, so if you're taking medication, increase your sun protection.
--> If you want the glow of a tan, try faking it with self-tanners or salon tanning treatments. Avoid tanning beds, though, because although manufacturers claim that tanning beds are free of UVB rays, they still use harmful UVA rays.