Ways & How

How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

There are many misconceptions about proper sun protection. The fact is that everyone, especially babies and younger children, should consider it as part of their skin care regimen. With the ozone layer in bad shape, more UVA and UVB rays are making it through our atmosphere. It’s no wonder that the risk for sun damage and cancer have increased over the last few decades. To protect yourself and your family, you have to know how to protect your skin from the sun.

  1. The best way to protect yourself from sun damage is to avoid direct exposure to the sun. Wear barriers like wide hats, sunglasses, and clothing. When it comes to clothes, tight weaves that actually filter out the light are important, since some fabrics like chiffon just let UV rays pass right through. Whenever possible, wear fabrics that are especially manufactured to provide SPF protection.

  2. Sunscreen should be used every day, even if it’s cloudy outside or even if you don’t expect to spend a lot of time outdoors. Studies show that even momentary sun exposure like walking across the parking lot to get to your car during your lunch break can log in skin damage that builds up over the years.


  3. Definitely wear sunscreen, even if the only time that you expect to be outdoors is in your car. Car windows can’t really completely filter out UV rays, even if they have been treated with special coating. In fact, untreated window glass can actually magnify the intensity of the sun’s rays, much like in the grade school experiment where you can start a fire by using a thick magnifying glass.

  4. Sunscreen is really an essential part of sun protection, but unfortunately, most people don’t know much about its proper use. For example, most consumers are easily swayed by high SPF ratings when in reality, there is not that much of a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 100. You also need to use a generous amount of product to achieve the level of sun protection promised. For the face, neck, and ears you should apply at least a teaspoonful, while for the rest of the body, you need to use the equivalent of a full shot glass.

  5. Timing is also important; sunscreen should be allowed to soak into the skin for at least 30 minutes before going out or applying an additional layer of makeup over it. And since sunscreen ingredients break down as they come in contact with body fluids and skin enzymes, you need to reapply after three or four hours, even sooner if you swam or rubbed your skin with a towel.

  6. Take note that reflective surfaces like sun, sand, and snow can bounce UV rays back at you, giving the same effect as standing directly in the sunlight, even if you were just sitting in the shade the whole time.

  7. It’s not really enough to rely on skin care or makeup products with SPF. Sure, they can help, but on their own, you won’t really be getting the sun protection factor indicated on the label unless you use an amount that is way more than you normally would. For example, you would need to pile on at least five layers of liquid foundation, while for powder foundation you have to cake on at least eight layers, especially since powders have less staying power.

Sunlight emits two kinds of harmful rays: UVA rays cause skin aging, while UVB rays cause skin burning. Look for sun care protection that protects against both UVA and UVB. Knowing how to protect your skin from the sun not only lowers your risk of developing skin cancer, but it also helps to keep your skin looking fresh and young.


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