Sun exposure is something you want to limit because too much increases your risk of age spots, fine lines, wrinkles and skin cancer. That’s easier said than done, however, since you must leave your house during the day. Even if you’re going to be outside, you can keep your sun exposure under control, though you’ll probably need to do a bit of planning. Check out these easy ways to minimize your sun exposure and you’ll be well on your way to skin health.
1. Stay inside
I’m not suggesting that you hide out inside the house until the sun goes down, but it is a good idea to limit the amount of sun exposure you get between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. That’s because those are the hours when the sun shines the harshest, meaning you get a lot of UVA and UVB ray exposure during that time frame. If possible, take a respite inside during that time and save your outdoor activities for early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
2. Wear a Hat
Skin cancer can grow on the tips of your ears and your neck, both of which are body parts often neglected when applying sunscreen. A hat can help shade both areas and is a must anytime you spend time outside. There are loads of fashionable hats out there so you can look cute and trendy while also decreasing your risk of premature aging and skin cancer.
3. Hang out in the Shade
When you do decide to spend the day outdoors, try to seek some shade whenever possible. Taking a break from the sun’s rays offers protection and gives you a chance to reapply your sunscreen. Go ahead and enjoy your time in the sun, but head into the shade now and then to keep your exposure limited.
4. Stay Dressed
Sure, you’ll want to remove your cover up when you swim, but if you’re playing beach volleyball or rollerblading in the park, it’s a good idea to cover as much skin as you can. That means you should only rock your bikini in the water. Otherwise, wear tightly woven, but loose clothing to cover your skin while also keeping you cool. At the very least, a pair of capris and a t-shirt can offer more protection than your bathing suit.
5. Wear Sunglasses
The skin around your eyes, and in fact your eyeballs too, should also get minimal skin exposure. That means wearing a pair of sunglasses when you’re out in the sun. Look for a pair that wraps around your face a bit, which can shield the delicate skin all around your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Make sure the lenses offer UV ray protection too.
6. Get Your Vitamin D from a Pill
Many people skip the sunscreen because they worry they won’t get enough vitamin D without sunshine. While it’s true that the sun does help your body produce this important nutrient, you don’t need very much to make it happen. A few minutes without sunscreen is probably fine, but beyond that, it’s a better idea to talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. Fortified milk, fortified cereal and mushrooms are food sources you can include in your diet to increase your intake.
7. Check the UV Index
Just like the temperature, the UV index tends to fluctuate. Sometimes it’s so high that experts recommend staying inside. Other times, the index is low enough that spending some time outdoors is safe. Keep an eye on the UV index in your area so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to head out or wait awhile.
How do you protect yourself from the sun? I wear sunscreen every day, no matter what! And my kids do too! Which of these tips do you plan to add to your routine?