Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays doesn’t mean that you need to hide indoors with the blinds closed. The seasons constantly change and with each new shift brings new challenges, but there are many ways to navigate the weather while protecting yourself. One thing to keep in mind is that these tips are not summer exclusive. A sunny day in the winter can burn your skin just as easily, and staying indoors doesn’t protect you from the UV rays that penetrate window glass. So keep these tips in mind as a general, year-round guide.



Now that sunscreen has been relabeled, it is easier than ever to make sure you are wearing the proper coverage. But once you get past the discussions of UVA vs. UVB, physical or chemical, the real debate is what number SPF do you choose? As a rule of thumb, 30 SPF should be your minimum number. For those with pale and freckled skin, numbers upwards of 50 SPF are the responsible choice. Remember, if 45 SPF is what you are using on your face, then you should really be using that on your body as well.

Purchasing a sunscreen with an SPF 50 is a great first step, but if you only use a small amount and fail to reapply, that number won’t help you. Once you choose the right sunscreen, the next and equally important step is a correct application. Fill a one ounce shot glass with sunscreen. That is the proper amount for ONE APPLICATION of your face and body. Every two hours, you should be reapplying your sunscreen with the same amount, especially if you took a dip in the water!

Sunscreen is an essential layer, but protective clothing is a smart second option. These items range from hats, gloves, and arm sleeves to actual clothing items. While this may seem extreme to some, these items are a great option for those who have a history of skin cancer, and don’t want to feel imprisoned by the sun. A double layer of sunscreen and protective clothing can be a great option for those times you find yourself out in the heat of the day. Of course, seeking shade is always a great option, but remember, burns can still happen in the shade!

Hair can only protect so much, especially if you have a part! Make sure to protect your scalp and shade your face with a nice wide brimmed hat. A spray on sunscreen can be a great option too to spray over your exposed scalp.

A great way to enjoy the sun, without actually laying out on a beach, is by participating in active outdoor sports. Your body will get a great workout, and even with sunscreen and protective clothing you can still enjoy the warmth of a sunny day! Don’t miss out on surfing/sailing/running or whatever summer activity you love. Just make sure to take protective steps and then head out and enjoy the day.