Depending on the time of year, the sun is our source of light and heat. It helps to regulate our circadian rhythms and is a major factor in vitamin D production. Sun exposure has been linked with reduced risk for some types of cancer as well as heart disease. In recent years, however, more research has suggested that ultraviolet rays from sunlight may be damaging to your health in ways you might not expect. Here are six tips to help protect yourself against UV rays from the sun.
1. Wear Protective Clothing
Cover up as much skin as possible with protective clothing whenever you plan on being in the sun for prolonged periods of time. This can be as simple as a hat with a brim or full clothing from head to toe. Sunglasses are important because they protect your eyes from sun exposure which can cause cataracts. We’ve all heard about the most popular brands such as Ray-Ban or Oakley, but if you are looking for something more alternative, Oscar and Frank Le Boss sunglasses might be just the right choice for you. Also, make sure the fabric of your clothes is tightly woven and has been treated with UV protection. This may include long sleeves, pants or skirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses. Long sleeves, pants, and wide-brimmed hats are all great options that can help protect you against harmful UV rays while still allowing you to soak up that Vitamin D!
2. Limit Your Time Outdoors
When possible, try to limit your time outdoors during peak hours (10 am- 4 pm). If you must be outside during these hours, make sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. If you are outside, remember that being in the shade does not mean you are safe from UV rays. These are when UV radiation levels are at their highest and can have a greater impact on your skin cells which may increase your risk for a variety of health conditions.
3. Apply Sunscreen
When you do go outside for a prolonged period, it is important to apply sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure your skin is fully covered by applying generous amounts to all exposed areas such as the tops of your ears, around your hairline, on your forehead, back of your neck, and any other areas that are not normally covered by clothing. Also, make sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day if you are outside for long periods of time.
4. Get Some Shade
This may be the simplest tip for protecting yourself against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. To avoid harmful UV rays that can cause hyperpigmentation and hyperplasia (excessive skin growth), find a nice, cool spot in the shade to relax with your friends and family. If you plan on being outside for an extended period of time, make sure to take frequent breaks under the shade of a tree or umbrella. This will help reduce the risk of UV damage. Whenever possible, get in the shade. Trees and other natural elements can provide much-needed protection from UV rays just by providing a little bit of coverage overhead. Make sure to get out of the sun or seek shade whenever you can, which is especially important during peak hours (10 am-4 pm).
5. Use products that contain Ecamsule
Ecamsule is one of the safest ingredients to look for in sunscreen protection products. It is an FDA-approved photostable ingredient that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. This makes it a great ingredient to look for each time you are buying sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet rays. It has been shown to provide broad-spectrum protection against UV rays and can be found in sunscreen sold under the Mexoryl brand, which is available only in Europe.
6. Avoid Tanning Beds
Ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds is a major cause of premature aging and skin cancer. You can protect yourself by avoiding tanning beds altogether. If you are looking to get a tan, try staying in the shade or use self-tanner lotions that have lower levels of harmful UV rays. While it may seem like being exposed to sunlight would have similar effects on your skin, recent research has suggested that tanning beds are actually even more harmful to your skin than natural sunlight. It is best to protect yourself by avoiding these awful contraptions altogether and staying in the shade or using self-tanning lotion instead.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is one of the most common types of harmful radiation that can be damaging to our health. This type of ultraviolet light causes DNA mutations which in turn can lead to cancer, sunburns, and cataracts. To prevent yourself from becoming susceptible to these effects it’s important you wear protective clothing when outside for prolonged periods or apply sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. These are just a few tips to help protect your skin against this dangerous form of sunlight exposure!