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How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage: 5 Tips for Sun Protection

sunscreen in the shape of a sun on woman's back
June 4, 2024

It only takes 15 minutes of exposure to the sun to damage your skin. Too much sun can lead to sunburns, skin aging, and skin cancer. Before you head outside to enjoy the warmer weather, make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect your skin from sun damage. Follow these tips for optimal sun protection.

1. Apply Sunscreen Often

One of the best things you can do to protect your skin from sun damage is to wear sunscreen any time you go outside. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s UV rays can reach the skin. Applying sunscreen to your skin will protect it against these rays on both sunny and cloudy days. Make sure the sunscreen is labeled as water-resistant and broad-spectrum to filter out both UVA and UVB rays, as both can damage the skin. The sunscreen should have a sun protection factor, or SPF, of at least 30 for optimal sun protection. Make sure you reapply every two hours to ensure your skin stays protected.

2. Find Some Shade

towel spread out under umbrella on a beach

A great way to reduce the risk of sun damage to your skin is to seek out shade. If you are at the beach or watching a sports game, set up an umbrella or canopy tent to shield your skin from direct sun rays. If you are having a picnic or cookout, set up under a shady tree. It’s especially important to find shade during peak sun hours, which are between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. However, remember that shade does not provide complete protection from the sun, so make sure you still wear sunscreen and take other precautions to protect your skin from sun damage.

3. Cover Up with Sun-Protective Clothing

During the warmer months, it’s tempting to dress in light, airy clothing and short sleeves to keep you cool. However, light, loosely woven fabrics offer little protection from the sun and allow its rays to penetrate through to your skin. Instead, choose tightly woven fabrics least likely to let the sun reach your skin. Consider long sleeves and long pants to cover more skin and protect it from the sun. Darker clothing is less likely to reflect the sun back onto your skin and your eyes. If possible, find clothing with an SPF rating, such as specific fishing and golf apparel.

4. Wear a Hat and Sunglasses

sunglasses on hat

Wear a hat and sunglasses while outdoors for optimal protection from sun damage. A hat with a wide brim will shade your face, ears, and neck from the sun’s harmful rays. Avoid straw hats with holes, as these will let the sunlight through. Instead, opt for a dark hat made from a tightly woven fabric. Ensure you also wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes and face from sun damage. Exposure to UV rays can cause cataracts and worsened eyesight, and the skin around your eyes is sensitive to the sun’s rays. Wrap-around sunglasses are best because they also block the sun’s rays from the sides.

5. Treat Sunburn Early

If you forgot to reapply sunscreen or missed a spot, you may notice a sunburn setting in. As soon as you notice you may be getting a sunburn, it’s essential to take action to prevent further sun damage. Get out of the sun immediately and, if possible, take a cool shower to stop the burn. To soothe the pain and swelling of a sunburn, you can apply 911 Relief Spray for instant relief. Aloe vera gel can also be very soothing and cooling. You may want to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain and inflammation as well. Moisturize the affected area often to promote healing.

Prevent and Treat Sun Damage with the Help of Phipps Pharmacy

Here at Phipps Pharmacy, we have several products in stock to help you protect your skin from sun damage and to treat sunburns. Whether you’re looking for sunscreen, 911 Relief Spray, aloe vera gel, cold compresses, or over-the-counter pain relievers, we can help you find what you need. Stop by one of our Phipps Pharmacy locations today to get the products you need or ask for advice to keep your skin healthy all year!