May is always such an exciting time of year. The air smells sweeter, the sun feels warmer, flowers are blooming and we know that summer is just around the corner. As we make our summer plans, we often think about the fun stuff like where we want to go on vacation, which bikini we want to wear when we head to the beach for the first time, or which new pair of sandals we want to debut at the season’s first rooftop party.
There’s one more thing we always need to remember when thinking about all of this fun in the sun…sun safety. May is rather appropriately Skin Cancer Awareness Month and, for those of us not living in warmer climates, May is when we start spending more time outdoors. So, Glamour Gone Good has thought of some helpful tips to help keep your skin safe while having fun in the sun.
1. Protect Your Eyes with Sunglasses & Wide Brimmed Hats
Everyone, including children, is at risk from eye damage due to too much exposure from UV radiation. Some of the worst case scenarios can include skin cancer of the eyelids, cataract, and photokeratitis (corneal sunburn).
Wearing a wide brimmed hat along with a protective pair of sunglasses is your best protection from eye damage. Plus, it looks so chic! When selecting a pair of sunglasses, consider a pair that is certified to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, decreases visible light, and reduces glares to a comfortable level.
2. Protect Your Body with UPF Clothing and/or an Umbrella
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, clothes can protect your skin against the sun's harmful UV rays, but not all clothing is created equal. The tightness of the weave, the weight, type of fiber, color and amount of skin covered all affect the amount of protection they provide. Look for clothes that are made of tightly woven fabric or, better yet, clearly labeled as UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing.
If you’re on the beach or somewhere outdoors, without much clothing on to protect your skin, bring an umbrella as a great alternative to provide you with shade.
3. Use Sunscreen Regularly and Liberally
Sunscreen can help protect the skin from sunburn and some skin cancers, but only if used correctly. Use it regularly and liberally when outside during the daytime, even if it’s not too sunny out. Always be sure to read the labels and apply accordingly.
Some quick tips to keep in mind when selecting the right sunscreen for you:
* Use a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label (this will screen out both UVB and UVA rays)
* Use a sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 50 (between SPF 30 and 50 for the beach and pool)
* Look for the new UVA “star” rating system on the label
*Look for zinc or titanium oxide as key ingredients and avoid suspected skin carcinogens like oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A)
What other sun safety tips would you recommend?