While we all need to get a little bit of sunshine everyday to keep us healthy, too much of it puts us at a great risk of developing a number of ailments, from seemingly harmless ones like blotchy, sun-damaged skin, to really serious ones like skin cancer. To keep these risks at a minimum, sun protection all-year round is paramount and not just during the extra sunny summer season.
Yes, you need to slather on those sunscreen creams, sprays, and lotions not only when you’re on a beach vacation or a poolside frolic with family and friends. You and your family members need to be protected from the sun’s harmful rays each time you do outdoor activities, whether it’s walking, jogging, shopping, gardening, playing sports, or even simply commuting.
For children, use sunscreens for kids with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, with broad-spectrum protection that shields the skin from both UVB, which causes sunburn, and UVA, which is responsible for long-term damage such as premature aging, wrinkles, and skin cancer. It’s also important to use sunscreens whatever the season, as the UV rays can be as harmful during the winter, and sun damage from prolonged sun exposure still occurs and accumulates whether you get sunburnt or not. Likewise, UV rays are still present on hazy and cloudy days. Skin experts also note that even if you spend the day mostly indoors, if the space gets filled with natural light, UVA rays can pass through window glass. This means even at the comfort of rooms, offices, workspaces, and classrooms, you and your family members are still at risk of getting sun damage.
Fortunately, sunscreens are now widely available in various formulas for daily use, extensive outdoor use, and swimming. Many facial creams, make-ups, and daily body lotions also now come with SPF and broad-spectrum protection, making it easier for everyone to stay protected from the harsh rays of the sun, whatever the season. Sunscreens formulated especially for children are also now easy to find. For those who are after organic options and eco-friendly choices, there are so-called natural sunscreens that are now available in the market. If you’re looking for one, thorough research should be able to help you find the best natural sunscreens for everyone in the family.
Sunscreen is just one aspect of sun protection, however. To give yourself and your family the best chance of being protected from the harmful UV rays, keep in mind a number of useful precautions: avoid prolonged sun exposure during the midday as much as possible; cover up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants; wear hats that cover the neck, ears, scalp and face; and don’t forget to protect the eyes as well with UV-blocking sunglasses and large frames to cover the eye area. Experts also note that sunglasses can reduce the chances of acquiring cataracts later in life. Avoid getting a tan at all costs, as the darkening is actually the skin’s natural response to the sun’s damaging rays, and therefore, a so-called “healthy tan” is just not possible. Tanning parlors and artificial tanning devices are also no good, as they emit UV radiation that is actually several times more intense than natural sunlight. Last but not the least, keep your children educated about sun safety at a young age so they will be able to adapt it as a healthy habit.