Though almost everyone enjoys time spent in a warm and sunny climate, particularly during their vacation when the presence of sunshine is especially welcome, it’s important to show proper caution when spending time in the sun to protect your skin from unnecessary damage. Many vacations and trips away have been ruined by a bad sunburn complete with peeling skin and pain, when simple precautions would have prevented it. Even those who don’t tend to burn as easily should be aware of how exposure to too much sun without protection can affect their health years down the road.
If you’re planning on spending time outdoors on the beach, water or anywhere else where you’ll be exposed to plenty of sun, one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is simply choose the appropriate clothing. Try to choose lightweight fabrics and lighter colors that don’t absorb as much sun toward the skin. Fabrics such as hemp, linen and cotton provide more sun protection than others. If possible, wear long skirts, shirts with longer sleeves, or pants to help protect skin from over exposure. For those who really require extra protection and have especially sensitive skin that burns more easily, UV protective clothing is available at some stores and online.
Simply enjoying the shade while you’re out and about can do a lot to protect yourself and others from too much sun exposure. During 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. the UV rays are at their highest and most damaging so if possible, avoid too much time in the sun between these hours. If you want to be outside during this time, consider looking for a place to relax that offers plenty of shade or even bring your own shade with you in the form of beach umbrellas, canopies or tents to keep you covered. You can still enjoy hours at the beach in the middle of the day with the help of a large, portable umbrella or canopy to keep you protected.
Of course sunscreen is an absolute must for enjoying the sun responsibly and regular application of sunscreen is essential for optimal skin health. Sunscreen should be applied generously all over the skin at least half an hour prior to exposure and should be reapplied at least every two hours (more often if water activity or exercise is likely to cause the sunscreen to rub off or be washed away more quickly). Be aware that sunscreens have an expiration date so be sure to use sunscreen that hasn’t expired before you head out to enjoy a sunny day.