Use Sunscreen and Limit Your Exposure
To minimize your risk of UV ray exposure, limit your time and use the proper sunscreen. UV ray intensity is at its highest from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember the trick your mother taught you: When your shadow is shorter than you are, the rays are at their strongest. Try to venture out only in the mornings and late afternoons.
A good sunscreen contains an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 15 blocks and 93 percent of UV rays on the label, at least. The sunscreen must block both UVB and UVA rays for total skin cancer protection. Follow the directions on the bottle to best protect skin from sun.
Use Sunscreen Best Practices
While you should follow the bottle’s directions, many people do not read the label or apply too little sunscreen to their body. Remember to use sunscreen best practices:
Apply water-resistant sunscreen, even if you’re not swimming, because you will be sweating.
Use sunscreen at least thirty minutes for proper absorption before you go outdoors.
Use enough sunscreen and apply liberally to your legs, arms, face, neck and back. Focus on hard-to-reach areas or especially sensitive areas with vigilance. An ounce should be enough for the average adult.
Not All Shade Equally Protects Your Skin
Even when you are going to be in the shade most of the day, the sun will still burn you since not all shade protects your skin equally. UV light is a type of radiation scattered via the clouds and other atmospheric elements. UVB rays, considered the more harmful type, will indirectly reach the skin through diffusion.
The nose and parts of the face are particularly sensitive and vulnerable. Choose the right shade to protect these vulnerable parts, in addition to your standard SPF 15 sunscreen. Wide brim hats, of at least a three inch circumference, will protect your nose and cheeks, but studies reveal these only have an SPF of 5. Larger umbrellas are better than smaller ones but may still have nearly 84 percent of the same degree of UV radiation present as under the sun.
It’s best to combine your use of objects when seeking out sanctuary in the shade. Wear a shirt under your umbrella, with a hat and sunglasses, and always wear sunscreen.