As the largest organ in your body, your skin plays a vital role in protecting your overall health. Because of this importance, it is imperative that you do what you can to keep it protected, particularly when you are in the sun. Too much-unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is the leading cause of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. It can also lead to premature aging and wrinkling.

Use the Right Sunscreen

The cornerstone of proper skin care is to use the right sunscreen when you are spending time outdoors. Be sure to select a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. The product needs to guard against both UVA and UVB rays. Do not forget to check the expiration date before applying.

It is also important that the sunscreen is water-resistant, particularly if you are going to be swimming or sweating. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use at least one ounce of the product 15 to 30 minutes before heading outside. You need to be diligent about reapplying the sunscreen at least every two hours. You may need to reapply more frequently if you are swimming.

It is important to remember that you can still get a sunburn even if the sun is not out. Those powerful UV rays can easily penetrate through the cloud cover. This is especially true as you get closer to the equator.

Understand Your Skin Issues

You will be able to make the best decisions for your skin health if you are informed about potential issues. The good news is that you do not even need to leave your house to do the research you need to feel empowered about the health of your skin.

It is easy to perform a skin diagnosis online by submitting a photo of your concern to a professional. Using this type of confidential platform, you can screen yourself for a variety of issues, including concerning moles, acne, psoriasis, and more. Once you have more information, you can then decide how to proceed and if you need to seek medical attention.

 

Make Smart Clothing Choices

You can elevate your protection quotient even further if you wear clothing that guards your skin. For example, a long-sleeved shirt will provide optimal protection. If you choose a lightweight fabric that wicks away sweat, you will be more comfortable even in the heat.

There is a variety of specially designed clothing made to deflect the sun. Dark clothing directs the sun away more than light-colored clothing. It is also a good idea to find accessories that will offer additional protection. A wide-brimmed hat will provide shade for your face, ears, and neck. You can also be purposeful about using sunglasses with lenses that are made of UV absorption materials.

Be Aware of Side Effects

In addition to being proactive about protecting your skin while out in the sun, you also need to understand how those dangerous UV rays may react with different products and medications that you are taking. While you are soaking up that vitamin D, you need to be cognizant of the fact that many common skincare products can interact with the sun to elevate your risk of damage.

For example, citrus oils, products containing retinol, antibacterial treatments, and exfoliating products with glycolic, salicylic, or azelaic acids may all exacerbate the sun’s effect on your skin. For this reason, it is important that you use these products at night when you will not be heading outside. If you need to wear them during the day, be sure to be extra diligent about applying an abundance of sunscreen.

Lastly, it is important that you understand how any medications may react with the sun. Some medications will make your sun more sensitive to the effects of the sun, necessitating that you take extra precautions.

Following these four tips will go a long way in protecting your skin while spending time in the sun. You owe it to the health of your skin to do everything that you can to protect yourself.