How dangerous is the sun? How important is protecting your skin from the sun? There are many elements to factor into this equation. With the right precautions, you can enjoy those blissful rays of sunshine without having to worry about causing permanent damage to your skin or increasing your chances of developing various types of skin cancers. Sun damage develops over time, so it is never too late to get started protecting your skin from the sun.  It’s easy to begin a regimen and implement it in your everyday life.

Excessive exposure to the sun can affect your skin in various ways. Some changes, like increased wrinkles and more prominent freckles, may be frustrating but not necessarily dangerous. However, changes in color or unusual marks may indicate a deeper problem, like the early stages of skin cancer. To protect your skin from the sun, there are several things to keep in mind.

Maximum Exposure Times

The sun is most intense between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. If you look down and notice a shorter shadow, try to find some shade. While these are the prime hours for sun exposure, spending more than fifteen minutes out in the sun warrants some protection for your skin.

Protecting Your Skin

If relying on shade is not an option, there are a few other things you can do to protect your skin:

Wear Sunscreen 

Aim for one that is at least SPF 30 to deflect and absorb damaging UV rays. SkinCeuticals offers a variety of sunscreen formulas, from mattifying sunscreens for oily skin to water resistant sunscreens specifically designed for extreme outdoor workouts. Apply at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

Apply Protective Lip Balm   

Many people forget to protect their lips when venturing out into the sun, even though they are highly susceptible to burns. Be sure to apply a protective lip balm every hour.

Shield Your Eyes

The sun can wreak havoc on the eyes, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging. It could also cause cataracts, which affect your vision. Cover your eyes, and the skin around them, with sunglasses. Wider lenses offer more protection, and make sure they have a label indicating 100% protection from UV rays.

Hang on to Your Hat 

Create your own shade with a wide-brimmed hat that covers your face, ears, and neck.

Choose UPF Clothing 

Like sunscreen, UPF clothing ranges from 15 to 50+, with higher levels offering more protection. These clothes have a special coating that help absorb UVA and UVB rays. Darker, tightly woven fabrics also provide more protection in general.

Treating Damaged Skin

There are several moisturizing creams and anti-inflammatories available for relieving sunburns. Even wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can help your skin heal and possibly reverse the damage.  However, if blisters develop, you should seek medical care.

You should also watch for other warning signs, like freckles or other marks that are unusual in shape or color. Many symptoms of skin damage can be treated by medical professionals if caught in the early stages.

Sun Exposure and Damage: Q & A

Question: “How long can I safely be exposed to the sun, without sunscreen?”

Answer: It’s difficult to say. In the past, the ozone layer helped protect us by blocking the harmful UV rays. Over the years the ozone layer has decreased due to air pollution and other environmental factors as stated by the American Skin Association We now need to better protect ourselves. Although a few minutes here and there, should be OK and can be beneficial, limit time to 10 – 15 minutes a day.

Question: “When do I need to wear sunscreen?”

Answer: The sun doesn’t sleep in the winter or even on a cloudy day. In fact, cloudy days can even be worse because you don’t feel the rays coming through as much. But guess what? They are still there. Incorporate sunscreen into your daily skin routine for maximum protection from the sun.

Question: “Is there any way to reverse or stop sun damage once you have gotten it?

Answer: Keeping up with regular sun protection throughout the year definitely does help and can reverse or even stop further damage. Other things to do along with sunscreen use that can help are moisturizing, exfoliation (to remove dead cells), staying hydrated, and always follow your doctor’s orders if there are any concerns.
Protecting your skin from the sun is a necessary way to keep your skin healthy and looking youthful. Utilize protection everyday for the best results. Not sure which one to try? SkinCeuticals offers a range of protection for varying skin types and lifestyles, that deflect and absorb those harmful rays. To find the best one for you check out their line of products here: https://njvvc.com/skinceuticals/