- Little Lime
- BAG 0
Written by Bernadette Gallagher.
Plants are becoming lush, flowers are blooming, and the sun is getting warmer. Summer is just around the corner! But as the sunlight warms us more and more over the spring months, we are beginning to plan for outdoor summer activities, it becomes increasingly important to remember how to stay safe in the sun.
Especially in colder, Northern climates it can be easy to ignore proper sun protection conventions. After all, spending winter months in the cold, makes us relish at the sight of the sun and hop outside without much thought. But, soon we will be reaching for our swim suits, sunglasses and beach towels, and I would like to offer some tips for staying protected in the sun.
But first, it is important to understand why you need protection from the sun.
The sun lets off three types of UV light: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays cause long-term damage to the skin. This damage can be seen as wrinkles, sunspots, and premature aging. UVB rays cause sun burning and are the most common cause of skin cancer. While UVC rays are the most dangerous and deadly, we do not need to worry about them since they cannot penetrate Earth’s ozone layer.
Now that you understand what the sun’s rays do, choosing a proper sunscreen will make more sense. When shopping look for a broad spectrum sunscreen. This means it can block both UVA and UVB rays.
It is also recommended that you use the highest SPF (Sun Protection Factor) as possible, without going under SPF 30. However, in order to achieve the sun protection stated on the bottle, you need to let a decently thick layer of sunscreen absorb into your skin. As well, be sure to apply your sunscreen about thirty minutes prior to sun exposure in order to allow the ingredients to bind to your skin and protect you. Reapply every two or so hours.
The sun’s rays will be strongest between noon and three. So if you are planning outdoor activities (with younger kids especially) avoiding this three hour window can lessen your exposure to the sun’s rays significantly.
Another useful way to protect yourself from those UVA and UVB rays is through accessorizing! Here, you can express your personality while remaining safe. So, not only are you more protected, but your outfit is complete as well. Our go to summer accessories are hats, sunglasses, cover ups and umbrellas!
However, these sun protection methods are not sufficient on their own. If you have found yourself a cute sunhat, and you’re ready to hit the beach, you will still want to apply sunscreen to your face, forehead and neck. Basically, the more protection the better!
Caring for your skin will have both long and short term results. If you have not protected yourself for a day at the beach or backyard BBQ, you may return home at the end of the day feeling ill, worn out and tired.
So before you rush out of the house to soak up some rays and get some vitamin D, ensure you allow time for sunscreen application and to cover your skin with light clothing. And if you do happen to get burnt, apply aloe vera gel as soon as possible. This will keep your burn soothed, moisturized, can help prevent peeling, and will aid in the healing of your burn.
So remember to stay safe when you have some fun in the sun! Have a favourite accessory that protects you from sun exposure? Let us know in the comments!
Image by Stacey Potter Photography.