Top five ways to stay sun safe

Follow these tips to keep your skin safe from sun damage this summer.

Before you head out to soak up the sun this summer, make sure that you do it the safe way. No matter your location (or how much of a hermit you turn into over the summer), you are still at risk for sun damage. If you plan on watching Netflix next to your window, consider covering that precious skin. If you’re out by the pool, maybe apply a little extra sunscreen.

1. No amount is too much

When applying sunscreen, there is never too much. Actually, you need a lot more than most people will apply. You should use a golf ball-sized amount of sunscreen, or a squirt about the size of your palm. And with mists and spray sunscreens? Make sure it’s sprayed slowly and evenly.

2. Choose your sunscreen wisely

Standing in Target wondering which sunscreen will be the least of a bother? Look for a sunscreen with an SPF (that's the sun protection factor) of at least 30. Also, lots of sunscreens only protect against UVB rays — always check the bottle to make sure it protects against both UVB and UVA rays.

3. On the daily

Use sunscreen every day, plain and simple. Even in the winter months, the sun still affects your skin. UV rays can add up over time, so any activity (including walking to your car or even working next to a window) can cause gradual skin damage. Always make sure you reapply anytime you sweat, swim or use a towel on your body. Sunscreen doesn’t stay on forever!

4. Tanning beds

When it comes to your skin's health, no tanning bed is safe. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared radiation from artificial light sources as a known carcinogen. Not only does it increase your risk of skin cancer, but it also prematurely ages skin, giving it a wrinkled or leathery look.

5. Put those clothes to use

The fashion trend this year is safety, right? Hats are always important, and the most protective are broad-brimmed hats that cover more area. Check them out if you plan on spending a long time outdoors. And don’t forget sunglasses — if you don’t already wear them, as ZZ Top says, “Go get yourself some cheap sunglasses.” But do make sure they provide UV protection.

All information gathered from "Sun Protection for Skin Worshippers" by Neutrogena and "Dangers of Tanning" by the American Academy of Dermatology.

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