4 tips to safely enjoy summer sun

6 Signs You've Gotten Too Much Sun

As the weather warms, it’s hard to resist the lure of the sun. However, skin cancer is most prevalent in adults over the age of 65, and less than half protect themselves from the sun, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While spending time outdoors has great benefits, excessive sun exposure can have dangerous consequences. Here are 5 ways you can spend time outside without damaging or aging your skin.

Apply ample sunscreen

If you’ve ever had a sunburn, you are at an increased risk of melanoma, and five or more sunburns in your life can double the risk of developing potentially fatal melanoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. A tan can indicate signs of skin damage.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens block out both UVA and UVB rays which cause sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging. Sun rays can make aging spots and wrinkles more prominent. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher. You should reapply sunscreen every two hours while outside, after spending time in the water and follow the directions on the bottle. If you are wearing makeup, consider buying makeup sprays with SPF to reapply sunscreen without smudging your look.

Wear shades or stay in the shade

Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the sun’s rays are the strongest and most damaging. Avoid spending time outdoors during these times or stay in the shade. Sun and solar radiation increase the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees compared to the shade. So not only does the shade protect you from the sun, but it also keeps you cool.

Wearing sunglasses or sunshades protect your eyes from the sun and reduce strain on your eyes. UV rays can cause your eyes to develop cataracts, growths in the eye, and other eye diseases. Environmental factors such as harsh sunlight can cause you to strain your eyes causing them to feel dry or begin to water.

Hydrate regularly

Studies have found that older adults need to drink more water in order to regulate their body temperature. Your body regulates your temperature to control how much you sweat. However, as you age, that function dwindles causing older adults to sweat more. The more time you spend outside, the more you sweat and the more dehydrated you become. Regularly drinking water prevents dehydration and can keep you cool.

Wear protective clothing

Wearing lightweight or linen long-sleeve shirts and pants protects your skin from UV rays. And you won’t have to reapply sunscreen on the areas of your skin that are covered by clothing. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends these types of clothing for spending time in the sun:

  • Bright colored
  • Densely woven clothing, so no light rays can penetrate the cloth.
  • Loose-fitting
  • Clothing with a UPF label

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