With the summer sun on the horizon, it’s difficult to refrain from daydreaming about this season’s plans and upcoming adventures the warm weather is bringing. But before you get lost in the numerous ways this summer is going to rock, let’s focus on a more important matter that’s most likely slipped your mind – sun care.

With limited sunlight being a source of Vitamin D and the ever-growing health benefits of being surrounded by nature, you also have to keep in mind too much sun isn’t healthy. Kick your summer off right by acknowledging these five ways to protect yourself.

Check Your Sunblock

The biggest mistake people make is applying sunblock the moment they step outside, not allowing time for the skin to absorb the lotion before it’s exposed to the sun. That’s why it’s important to apply sunblock at least a half hour before heading out the door.

Another biggie is getting too caught up in the fun and forgetting to reapply. The effects of sunscreen wear off about every two hours or less depending on your activity level, so it’s essential to frequently re-apply.

Do you reapply but still notice a little red after outdoor adventures? Then it might be time to buy a higher SPF. The sun protection factor determines the percentage of UV rays being blocked out by your sunblock. Sticking to the recommended minimum of SPF 15 will only block out 94% of the sun’s rays, but using a product with an SPF of 30 will block out 97%. Ultimately, the higher the SPF, the more protection you’ll have.

Don’t Forget About Cosmetics

Applying makeup on top of sunscreen can feel heavy (and sometimes unpleasant). This usually leads to women to compromise on their morning routine with either wearing makeup or sunscreen – not both. Not wearing sunscreen on a daily basis leaves your face vulnerable to skin damage. That’s why cosmetic companies have upped their game and many are avid creators of items, from cover-up to blush, which contain an SPF of at least 15 or more. The awesome thing about these protective makeup lines? They’re available for every skin tone!

Protect Your Eyes

As important as it is to shield your skin, protecting your eyes is just as important as ultra-violet light can also damage your vision and cause tiny wrinkles, or crow’s feet, by your eyes. Investing in a pair of sunglasses is a given when the weather is warm and bright, but you shouldn’t aim for the most stylish or cheapest pair on the market. You need to look at the percentage of UVA and UVB rays the lenses block; if it’s not 100%, it’s not worth it. Same goes for those who wear contact lenses. Also, check for polarized lenses as these will reduce the glare and make it a lot easier to see, especially if you’re driving.

Get the Right Apparel

Those wide-brim hats aren’t just a summer fashion trend. Hats with a brim of at least 3 inches help shield the scalp, ears, as well as the back of the neck from prolonged sun exposure. Going beyond that, certain fabrics hold ultra-violet protection factors, ranging anywhere from 3% to 115%, so be sure do your research before you buy your summer outfits.

Avoid those High-in-the-Sky Hours

Believe it or not, there’s actually better times to enjoy the sunshine than others. Exposure to ultra-violet light is greatest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. once late spring and summer arrive, so being an early bird or making outdoor plans for after work is more beneficial than anticipated. If by chance there’s a family outing, event, or some other reason these hours in the sun cannot be avoided, just be sure to seek as much shade as possible.

Having fun while staying protected isn’t a far-fetched goal. By engaging in these tips, you will be active as well as healthy on those summer days.

Sources:

http://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/top-10-ways-protect-yourself-sun

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14410/1/How-to-Calculate-the-SPF-You-Need.html

http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/tips/g2521/in-the-shade-spf-makeup-for-every-skin-tone-561751/?slide=1

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/features/how-to-pick-good-sunglasses

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing#panel1-5

http://www.americanskin.org/resource/safety.php