Ways to Prevent Sun Damage
We in North Georgia and across the Southeast are fortunate to have relatively warm temperatures year round. But with that warm weather comes the damaging rays of the sun, especially during the hot summer months. No matter the season, though, exposure to the sun can be harmful to the skin and body. Take the proper precautions when outdoors to ensure your skins stays healthy and glowing.
- Apply sunscreen daily
Get into the habit of applying sunscreen every day. More than half of a person's lifetime sun exposure is incidental, meaning it occurs during daily activities, not while sunbathing. Wear SPF 15 every day and apply a stronger sunscreen if you know you'll be outdoors for a long period of time.
- Wear Sunglasses
The first area of the face to show signs of aging is the skin around the eyes. This sensitive area must be protected when outdoors or while driving in bright sunlight. Invest in a pair of quality sunglasses that are labeled to block 99 percent of UV rays. Wider lenses also will help protect the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Check the time
The sun's UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid being outdoors during this time if possible. Otherwise, look for shade.
- Don't forget your hat and lip balm
Your face, eyes and arms aren't all that can suffer the wrath of too much sun. Lips are especially vulnerable to sunburn and can easily age and wrinkle. Reapply protective lip balm every hour or so to prevent sunburn and other damage to the lips. In addition to your lips, cover your head. Light-haired people are particularly susceptible to suffering from a sunburned head and should wear a hat with at least a two- to three-inch brim or carry an umbrella. A hat and/or umbrella will protect not only your head but also your face and neck.
- Try UPF clothing
UPF clothing is made with special coating to help absorb both UVA and UVB rays. The higher the UPF, the better the protection (UPF ranges from 15 to 50-plus). If you're not up to trying UPF garments, regular clothing can shield skin from the sun--if it's a dark color and made of tightly woven fabrics. Keep those clothes dry, too; protection decreases by half if clothes get wet.