Survive the Summer!

The hot weather is here and I know everyone’s wanting to get out in the sun and in the water but don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. They may feel great on your skin now, but the damage it can cause can cause serious problems in the future. We’ve compiled a list of tips to protect you and your family from permanent damage!

1. ALWAYS wear sunscreen! – The easiest and most effective way to protect your skin from damage is putting on sunscreen. However, not all sunscreens are created equal and if used improperly, can be ineffective. Your sunscreen should be water resistant; at least SPF 15 (although preferably 30+); apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before heading out in the sun to make sure it has time to soak in; and provide broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember, it’s not just sunburns that damage skin, tans are a sign of damage as well.

2. Clothing is also important for sun protection. Most people undervalue the benefits of a simple hat. Those wide-brimmed floppy summer hats that are so popular and cute, are actually really beneficial as they add sun deflection to not only your face, but also keep the sun off your ears and scalp which we so often forget about. Also, while special UV protection clothes are available, they’re not really necessary. Most of the clothes in your closet will deflect UV rays just fine. Of course don’t forget sunglasses! The bigger the better as they provide more coverage of your eyes. Just make sure that you stick to brown and grey/black shades as lighter colours may not provide adequate protection and of course be sure that any sunglasses you buy are  UV 400 protection.

3. People also often forget that their lips can be just as susceptible to burning as the rest of your skin. Wearing lip balm with an SPF is best, but if you prefer to wear lipstick, varieties with SPF’s in them are available or you can use conditioning balms with SPF under your normal lip stick for added protection and moisture. Avoid baby oil, petroleum jelly or high-shine lip glosses while in the sun as they’ll actually attract the UV rays, causing damage.

4. As most girls know, the majority of cosmetics provide at least SPF 15 protection, however, if you’re going to be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time that may not be enough. Make sure to also at least apply a lotion with a good SPF in it underneath your make up as make up can sweat off or be worn off. Also, mineral make ups provide better protection than others.

5. Most of us know that kids are more vulnerable to sunburn than adults, but did you know that 80% of a person’s total lifetime sun exposure will be had by they time they’re 18? This means that you need to make sure that your teens are covered as well, not just your little ones. Sunscreens aren’t tested on babies younger than 6 months old so talk to your pediatrician before use. It’s generally suggested to keep infants out of the sun all together or make sure they’re covered up with hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing. 

Preventing sun damage is often taken lightly in our “sun worshiping” culture but is extremely important for not just preventing different types of skin cancer, but also premature aging and skin discolouration. Click here for more tips on protecting your skin from the sun and other skin care advice. Everyone at Sweeney & Sweeney wishes you a fun and safe summer!