Sun is essential to survival. It offers plenty of health benefits, including influencing vitamin D levels in the body and regulating the feel-good hormones that regulate our mood. However, exposure to the sun does have some negative effects. For example, it often causes premature skin aging, sunburns, and increases the risk of skin cancer.
Whether you are out trying to get an appealing tan or you are just hanging out at the beach with friends, skin protection from the sun is essential. In this article, we will show you how to protect skin from the sun naturally.
Top Ways to Ensure Skin Protection from Sun
1. Wear Sunscreen
When living your normal day to day life, your skin will probably be exposed to the sun daily. This means that sunscreen is not just for when you intend to spend your time at the beach. To protect skin from the sun, you should use a daily broad-spectrum – blocking both UVB and UVA rays – sunscreen featuring a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher on all the exposed parts of your body.
For beach days, you should choose sunscreen featuring water-resistance and an SPF of at least 30. Apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before heading to the beach and reapply it every 2 hours. If you are sweating or swimming, reapply sunscreen every hour.
2. Seek Shade
The sun’s rays are strongest when your shadow is shorter than you – this is between 10 am and 4 pm. If possible, consider scheduling all your outdoor activities before or after this time.
If you have to be out during these hours, consider seeking shade. For example, if you intend to be using your beach chair between 10 am and 4 pm, consider seeking shade under a beach umbrella featuring an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 30 or more. Alternatively, consider seeking shade under shelters and trees as often as possible.
3. Cover Up
If you intend to spend your day outdoors on a sunny day, wearing sun-protective clothing is an ideal way to protect your skin from the sun. In water – for example, when swimming – consider donning a rash guard instead of a regular t-shirt. Wet t-shirts offer much less protection compared to dry ones. Rash guards are often made of polyester and have a built-in UPF.
If you won’t spend your day in the water, cover up with loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tightly woven materials featuring dark colors offer more protection compared to loosely woven materials featuring lighter colors.
When purchasing your clothing, check the labels for the UPF information. Invest in clothes with a UPF of 30 and more.
4. Wear a Hat
The ears, scalp, neck, and face are often at a higher risk of skin cancer. Wearing sun hats can help with skin protection from the sun around these areas.
When investing in a sun hat, look for one whose brim is at least 3 inches all the way around. Alternatively, choose a shade cap featuring fabric in the back to cover both your neck and the ears.
Like clothing, look for a hat or shade cap made using tightly woven materials in dark colors. If you can see through the material, the ultraviolet rays can get through the hat.
5. Wear Sunglasses
The skin around your eyes is super delicate, this makes it more vulnerable to UV light. The eyes themselves can easily develop cataracts and other complications as a result of exposure to sun rays.
When investing in sunglasses, you need to note that darker does not necessarily mean better sun ray protection. Dark tints are only capable of reducing the intensity of the nontoxic visible light – the tint does not block the invisible UV rays.
Wrap-around glasses (sunglasses featuring larger frames) offer the best protection. Be sure to check for labels specifying the UVB and UVA coverage. Look for sunglasses featuring the best coverage. Avoid making assumptions about sunglasses that do not have a label.
6. Take the Daily UV Index Seriously
The daily UV index is usually part of the local weather forecast. This index estimates the risk of overexposure to the sun’s rays on a scale of 1 to 11+. A higher number indicates a higher risk.
A UV alert means that the UV index in your location is expected to be 6 or more – which is high – and unusually intense for the specific period. Be extra cautious or choose indoor activities if there is a UV alert for your area.
7. Be Cautious About the Reflection
Certain surfaces do reflect the sun’s rays and can intensify exposure to the ultraviolet rays. Any time you are around water, snow, or sand, you have to think about the reflection. If you intend to spend your time on a beach blanket on the sand or you plan on going skiing on snow, ensure that your skin protection from the sun can handle reflected rays.
8. Install a UV-Blocking Film on Your Car
While glass blocks are capable of blocking UVB rays well, they do not block the UVA rays. While windshields on automobiles are often treated to shield the driver from some UVA, the passenger windows on most cars do not offer any protection.
If you are wondering how to protect skin from the sun naturally when traveling, you should consider investing in a UV-blocking window film. While this will cost you some money and installation time, it will give you long-term peace of mind as you will know that your skin is 100% protected from the sun rays when you get in the car.
9. Check Your Medications
Some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Examples of these medications include acne medications, cholesterol drugs, antidepressants, diuretics, high blood pressure medications, and some antibiotics.
If you do take some over-the-counter medications or prescription meds, talk to your pharmacist about sun exposure to determine whether the drugs can increase your risk of sunburn. Also, be sure to read the drug’s warning instructions.
If you determine that your drugs carry a photosensitivity warning, the best way to protect skin from the sun is to take extra precautions, for example, by avoiding the outdoors when the sun’s rays are intense. Also, if you have an unwanted skin reaction, immediate medical consultation will be a good idea.
10.Seek Alternative Vitamin D Sources
Vitamin D is one of the main reasons most people enjoy basking in the sun. This is understandable considering that vitamin D is essential for both your health and strong bones. However, the sun is not the only Vitamin D source. To protect skin from the sun, seeking alternative vitamin D sources may be a good idea.
You can find vitamin D naturally in fatty fish – salmon, tuna, and swordfish – and in fortified foods like orange juice, yogurt, and cereal. While vitamin D supplements do exist in the market, you must talk to your doctor before investing in supplements – too much vitamin D can be harmful.
Q: What Protects the Skin from the Sun?
Two main things offer skin protection against the sun – sunscreen and sun-protective clothing. Coming in lotion and spray-on forms, sunscreen is rated by its SPF – Sun Protection Factor. The higher the sunscreen’s SPF rating, the greater its protection against the sun’s rays. Tightly woven clothing in dark colors also offers great protection by covering the skin. Clothing has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) which indicates how effective they are in offering protection from the sun.
Q: How Can I Protect My Skin from Sun Without Sunscreen?
Staying in the shade is an ideal way to protect your skin from sun without sunscreen. If you have to leave the shade, cover every part of your body with sun protective clothing. Be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, scalp, and ears.
Q: What is the Best Protection from the Sun?
Avoiding the sun completely – that is, staying in the shade – is the best protection from the sun. However, since this is not possible, you should wear sun-protective clothing and apply sunscreen on all exposed areas when heading out. The clothing and sunscreen should help keep both the UVA and UVB rays at bay.
Q: How Can We Protect Our Skin from Sun in Summer?
Avoid going outside between 10 am and 4 pm – this is when the sun’s rays are most intense. When going outside, wear sun-protective gear, from a sun hat and sunglasses to long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Also, apply sunscreen to all exposed areas.
Q: How Can I Protect My Skin from The Sun Naturally?
To protect your skin from the sun naturally, you need to stay in the shade when the sun’s rays are intense. Also, use sunscreen and wear clothing that can protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Be cautious about reflection often caused by water, sand, and snow surface – the reflected rays can also affect your skin.
Globo Surf Overview
The sun features both benefits and disadvantages. With prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays, without ideal skin protection, the disadvantages start to outweigh the benefits. To reduce the risk of sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging, you have to focus on skin protection from the sun.
In this guide, we have shown you how to protect skin from the sun naturally. Balancing both sun protection and sun exposure is the key to getting vitamin D and that appealing tan without compromising your skin’s health.