Longer days mean more time outside but protecting your skin from the sun should be a priority. Taking care of our skin and our children’ skin now ensures a healthy routine like brushing your teeth and can contribute to younger, healthier skin and less risk of cancer.
At a recent event hosted by Coppertone, Dr Sonya Cook (dermatologist and co-medical director of Compass Dermatology in Toronto) had these 8 sun care tips to offer when it comes to protecting your skin this summer:
1. Cover up.
When out in the sun wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants in a tight weave or with a sun protection rating, a wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
2. Seek Shade.
Where possible, stay in the shade like under an umbrella, an awning, or even a tree.
3. Avoid Peak Sun Hours.
If you are going to be out in the sun try to plan your time to avoid prolong activity during peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest.
4. Use Self-Tanners for Colour and Not Protection.
Self-tanners can give your skin a nice summer glow but they won’t protect you from UV rays. If you’re out in the sun you will need another form of sun protection.
5. Protect Yourself on a Cloudy Day.
We sometimes think, since we cannot see or feel the heat of the sun, UV rays are not hitting us. Unfortunately cloud cover only block about 20 percent of UV rays meaning you still need sun protection if you are outside.
6. Make-up With Sun Screen Still Requires Additional Sun Protection.
It’s not unusual for many make-up products to indicate that UV protection has been built-in. During the off-season this protection might be fine but from April to September additional protection is required. If you plan on wearing additional sunscreen, apply it first before putting on your make-up.
7. Ensure Sunscreen offers UVB and UVA protection.
UVA is fairly consistent all year round, with about 90% of the rays reaching Earth. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, perhaps playing a greater role in the development of melanoma. Although only about 10% of UVB rays reach Earth, they tend to be more intense during the summer months. UVB exposure results in sunburn and causes direct damage to your DNA producing mutations that lead to skin cancer. Although these UV rays affect the skin differently, they are both harmful and you should ensure you have a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
8. Apply Enough Sun Screen.
It seems we’re not applying enough sunscreen to warrant the protection indicated on the packaging. Each application should be roughly the size of a golf ball. As we perspire and remove some of our sunscreen, it should be reapplied every two hours as well as every time we come out of the water.
Whether you protect your family with the array of Coppertone products or use Consonant’s 100% Natural Sunscreen, Dr Cook indicated that sunscreen is the last resort to sun protection. Combined with wearing protective clothing and staying out of the sun, wearing sunscreen is part of an overall sun care routine we should follow everyday.
With your family’s skin protected from the sun, you can enjoy your time outside. If you’re looking for something to do, Coppertone has created the Sunny Planner directory, covering events and activities going on this summer in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
Should the unfortunate happen and you do get too much sun, try one of these after sun remedies.