Sun Safety

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It’s officially summer! The temperatures are going up and so is the amount of skin exposed to the sun’s rays. We all know it’s important to protect your skin. Gone are the days of slathering in baby oil and lying out all summer, but are you really taking care to protect yourself and your family? We’ve put together 5 simple but important tips for protecting your skin while you are enjoying your time outdoors this summer.

1. Shelter: Whenever possible, try to stay out of direct sunlight. This may be easy at a nicely shaded park but much harder at say the beach. There are always beach umbrellas and tents, but when you’re already carting half your life to the beach for the day, who wants to make an extra trip back to the car for the umbrella? Thankfully, many companies are making awesome little tents that provide shade without taking up your entire trunk or weighing a million pounds. Many even pop up in seconds without any assembly.

2. Cover Up: Tank tops and crop tops may be all the rage right now, but wearing more clothing can go a long way towards protecting your skin from the sun. As counter intuitive as it seems, wearing more can sometimes keep you cooler as well. Look for light colored, lightweight, breathable, natural fabrics like cotton or linen. And look at it this way: it’s a great excuse to buy a cute bathing suit cover up!

3. Wear a Hat: A big, wide brimmed hat is not just for the Kentucky Derby! Again, when buying a hat, look for a light colored one made from breathable fabric with as much shade as possible. From big and floppy to cute and sporty, thankfully hats are popular this year, so they aren’t hard to find.

4. Sun glasses: Whether you prefer sporty wrap arounds, aviators, or giant bug-eyed glasses, look for a pair that blocks 99-100% of the UV light. Also look for a pair that fits as close to your face as possible and provides protection from light coming in from the sides. You don’t have to spend a fortune on them, but do make sure they specify the amount of UV light they block and that they meet the government regulated safety standards. Keep in mind that the darker color does not mean more protection. One last thing – Check with your Eye Doctor to see if your insurance covers prescription sunglasses. Many times, you can get new frames covered on a yearly basis. So, if you don’t need new eyeglasses, score with some prescription sunglasses.

5. Sunscreen: Regardless of how much you try, there is no way to shield your skin completely from the sun, which is why sunscreen is a must! Look for a sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of at least 15, higher if you are especially fair skinned. Apply at least 30 minutes before going on in the sun and reapply often. If you plan to be in the water, consider a water and sweat resistant sunscreen but don’t let the name lull you into a false sense of security. You will still need to reapply often.

None of these individual tips will offer 100% protection 100% of the time. That’s why it’s important to utilize multiple techniques for protecting yourself and your family from the sun. It’s also important to note that sun safety is just as important during the winter as it is in the summer so make sure you continue to be vigilant about sun protection even after you return from the beach and the pool has closed for the season. Happy Summer from Tafford!

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