Sunshine triggers vitamin D production, which is a good thing. However, too much exposure to sunlight increases your risk for skin cancers. The sun is the main source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. You can still develop skin cancer even if you do not burn easily; anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of the amount of melanin in your skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70, and roughly 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are related to sun exposure.
Reducing your exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation can help reduce your risk for skin cancer. Here are seven ways to block UV rays.Roughly 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Do yourself a favor and keep your skin safe! Click To Tweet
Stay indoors during peak sunlight hours
UV rays are typically the most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If possible, plan your time outdoors before and after peak sunlight hours. This can also help prevent heat-related illnesses.
Avoid direct exposure to sunlight when spending an extended period of time outside. Find shade under a pavilion, or under a tree. Consider bringing something with you to create shade such as a shade tent, tarp, canopy, or umbrella.
Wear broad spectrum sunscreen
There are three types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA, UVB, and UVC. All UVC radiation is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer. Most UVB radiation is absorbed by the ozone, but ultraviolet B radiation still reaches us. Most of the ultraviolet radiation that we receive is UVA radiation.
Both UVA and UVB radiation can damage the skin and cause skin cancer. Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure that you choose the right sunscreen, you apply it properly, and you reapply when necessary.
Cover up with clothing
It’s counter intuitive, but clothing with more coverage helps keeps you cool. It also provides more protection from harmful UV radiation. Wear long pants and shirts with long sleeves to block as many UV rays as possible. Choose lightweight, light colored, and loose fitting clothing.
Use lip balm with SPF
You don’t want to put sunscreen on your lips, but your lips can still burn and get damaged by UV radiation. Block the UV rays with a protective lip balm containing SPF.
Wear a hat
Wearing a hat helps protects your face, neck, ears, and head from harmful UV radiation. Just like clothing, you get better protection with more coverage. Choose a sunhat with a wide brim for the best protection.
Ultraviolet radiation damages your eyes as well as your skin. While a hat can help keep sunlight out of your eyes, wearing a pair of sunglasses with UV absorption protects your eyes from UV rays.
The best way to block UV rays is by doing a combination of all of these things. Apply sunscreen and lip balm, wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, seek shade, and stay out of the sun when it’s at its brightest for the best protection.