The Most Important Sun Protection Tips That You Should Use This Summer
Did you know that there is no such thing as a healthy tan? From base tans to bad sunburns, it's all skin and DNA damage. And the more you expose your skin to the sun, the higher the chance of skin disease.
Having to consider sun protection when you're planning your summer vacation isn't fun. But do you know what's less fun? Getting sunburned and sick while traveling.
And avoiding sunburns and skin damage on your beach travel break is simpler than you think. All you need to do is follow a few key tips so you can enjoy your summer and healthy skin. Keep reading to discover what those top tips are!
Use Sunscreen (Choose the Right Type!)
You don't need anyone to tell you that the best sun protection is sunscreen. And you should wear it every single day of your summer vacation as UV rays are still harmful on cloudy days.
But not all types of sun protection, like sunscreen, provide the same level of protection. It's vital you know which one is the best.
All sunscreen has an SPF (sun protection factor) rating. These are the ratings that are available in supermarkets and pharmacies:
- SPF 15 - blocks 93% of UVB radiation
- SPF 30 - blocks 97% of UVB radiation
- SPF 50 - blocks 98% of UVB radiation
SPF 100, which blocks 99% of UVB radiation, does exist but it's not common. Plus, the difference between SPF 50 and 100 is marginal. Even the difference between SPF 30 and 50 isn't much!
If you're an adult, you should wear sunscreen with a rating of SPF 30 at the least. Opt for SPF 50 if you have kids as you want to choose the safest type available for them.
Always buy sunscreens with PA+ ratings too. This guide measures how effective the sunscreen is at blocking UVA radiation:
- PA+ - some UVA protection
- PA++ - moderate UVA protection
- PA+++ - high UVA protection
- PA++++ - very high UVA protection
Choose the sunscreen with the best protection against both UVA and UVB ratings. If you need to choose an SPF 30 over an SPF 50 sunscreen to get more UVA protection, then the payoff is likely worth it.
In some parts of Europe, they use the star system (one to five stars) instead of PA+. The same general rule applies. The more stars on the sunscreen bottle, the more effective it is at protecting against UVA rays.
Generic sunscreen is safe to wear all over your body, including your face. But you might want to invest in a less greasy sunscreen for your face so you are more likely to apply it. You should also invest in a lip balm with SPF too.
Reapply Sunscreen Throughout the Day
You need to apply sunscreen around 15 to 30 minutes before exposing your skin to the sun's rays.
But applying sunscreen is not a one-and-done deal. You should reapply it every two hours. The sun's heat can dry sunscreen off your skin so it won't stick around all day.
If you are going swimming outside, choose a water-resistant sunscreen. And you should also reapply this sunscreen every 90 minutes instead of two hours. If you're exercising in the sun or getting very sweaty, you should also reapply it more often.
Wear Sun-Protective Clothing and Accessories
One of the best ways to avoid sunburns and skin damage but still have fun is to wear sun-protective clothing. In an ideal world, you would wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants with a wide-brim hat. You would expose no part of your skin to the sun's harmful rays.
But that's unrealistic! Here are some alternative beach essentials that you should consider wearing instead:
- Floppy summer hats or baseball hats
- Kaftan and boho dresses over swimwear
- Light cotton or merino wool t-shirts
- Long board shorts or khaki shorts
It's extra important that your kids cover as much of their sensitive skin as possible. Opt for swim jumpsuits that will cover their shoulders and thighs. And there are some adorable baby girl and baby boy sun hats you can buy for them too.
Limit Your Time in and Around Water
Water, and sand to a lesser extent, can reflect the sun's rays. You're much more likely to get sunburn if you lie on the sand or play in the pool or sea for extended periods.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't go into the pool or sea for a swim at all. But don't stay in there for longer than 30 minutes and always check your skin for burning afterward.
Stay Out of the Sun During the Hottest Hours
Everyone knows that the hottest part of the day is during and after lunch between 12:00 and 16:00. This is why the Spanish take a siesta and stay indoors during these hours! You should follow their example.
Most summer vacation spots are still very warm in the early mornings and evenings. You'll still be able to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand at these safer times!
Create Your Own Shade With Beach Gear
Are you able to take your car to the park, pool, or beach? Then you've got plenty of space in your trunk to bring sun protection gear.
Invest in a huge umbrella that you can lie under so you avoid the sun's harmful rays. This will also give you a safe place where your kids can play.
Wear Sunglasses With UV Protection
If you've ever tried to look at the sun for too long, you'll know it's not fun! Direct sunlight is harmful to your eyes and the surrounding sensitive skin.
Buy a pair of sunglasses with a 99% to 100% UV protection rating. Along with a sun hat, this will ensure you're protecting more of your face from sun damage.
Have Fun and Stay Safe This Summer With These Sun Protection Tips
Getting an even, dark tan is on almost everyone's summer vacation wishlist. But the cost of achieving that tan is far too high. Be smart and use these sun protection tips that are sure to keep you and your family safe this season.
One of the best things about covering up at the beach is wearing all the latest summer styles. Browse our fashion articles for top beach style tips and advice!