How to Protect Your Skin From Harmful UV Rays During This Summer!

How to Protect Your Skin From Harmful UV Rays During This Summer!

Jenna Johnson, Staff Writer

Oh summer, how we love you so much! The bright sun, sand between our toes, and the long days spent doing basically nothing is a sharp contrast to the rough cold winters we experience here on Long Island. Although soaking up the summer rays may feel great in the moment, harmful UV rays emitted from the sun can put one at risk for skin cancer and many other complications. According to a study by Harvard University  , there are three main types of UV rays. which are UVA UVB and UVC. UVA rays cause your skin to age early, develop sun spots, and also result in one developing sun cancer after long term exposure to the rays. I spoke with my mother who is a PA who told me “UVB affects the top layer of your skin, and are the main cause for sun burns.” Here are some tips to protect against the sun this summer!

Image result for neutrogena beach defenseTip 1. The first and most obvious preventative measure against sun burn is sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied daily and reapplied after physical activity. In order to ensure ideal protection from the sun one should aim to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. A popular sunscreen is Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen which has an SPF of 30 or higher depending on the strength you prefer. Always look for broad spectrum sunscreen, which indicates that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Buy it on Amazon here for $8.99

Tip 2: This tip is not related to skin, but is equally if not more important. Our eyes often absorb much of the UV rays emitted from the sun. Although finding a good pair of sunglasses is difficult, due to the fact they can be very expensive, it is worth the money to splurge on a reliable pair of sunglasses, to protect our eyes from the harmful sun.

Tip 3: From the hours of 10am to 4pm, attempt to limit the hours that you spend in the sun. It is scientifically proven that the suns rays are the strongest during this time frame. If you are outside during this time, attempt to seek shade when possible, constantly hydrate yourself, and try not to stay under direct contact with sunlight in intervals longer than 15 minutes. This tip is often very difficult to follow due to the fact the hours of 10am-4pm are most likely the hours most people seek to enjoy the outside weather, nevertheless be cautious of your time out in the sun!

Tip 4: Protect yourself with clothing! Our clothing is almost like a second skin. Although one must still use sunscreen regardless of whether or not the skin is exposed or covered up by fabric, it is important to try and wear protective clothing when out in the sun. Once again this tip is also very hard to follow due to the fact wearing long sleeves is not appealing for those of us living in humid climates in the summer. One must attempt to wear lightweight protective clothing, which is preferably a darker color. By wearing a darker color, the fabric will absorb much of the rays, as opposed to your skin.

Tip 5: Don’t go to the tanning bed! Tanning beds have been proven to be harmful time and time again by various clinical studies. They increase your chance of developing a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. If one desires to get a nice bronzed tan, one can opt for a spray tan or tanning lotion, which will both develop in color following the days of application. However a spray tan has its negative risks as well. The active ingredients in self tanners and the tanners used in tanning salons known as DHA have been linked to a possible increased chance of skin cancer, albeit less than tanning beds.