Spring is here! The days are longer, the birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming. Your pool cover is off, and you are gazing longingly at your beautiful in-ground pool liner just waiting for the day you can jump in and enjoy it. Although it is not officially swimming season yet, it is still important to protect yourself from the sun in the springtime. Here are some spring sun safety tips to carry you through the season.
Choose the right sunscreen. There are so many sunscreens on the market that it can be challenging to choose right one. Most dermatologists recommend a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or higher. Select a water-resistant version if you are going to be sweating, or if you live in a warmer part of the country and plan on swimming this spring. You should also use a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum label to protect against both UVB and UVA rays. All sunscreens protect against UVB—the primary cause of sunburn—but UVA rays contribute to both skin cancer and premature aging.
Apply enough sunscreen. One of the most common mistakes that people make when using sunscreen is not using enough. The average adult needs approximately one ounce of sunscreen to cover his or her entire body. Then, it needs to be reapplied every two hours.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Using a hat will offer further protection from the sun by blocking the sun’s rays from your face. You should still wear sunscreen; a hat is simply another layer of protection. Have some fun with your hat by making a fashion statement—and matching your outfit!
Don some sunglasses. A hat protects your face from the sun and sunglasses with UV protection safeguard your eyes. The skin around your eyes is delicate and especially prone to sun damage such as wrinkles and age spots. Oversized glasses are not only in style but will offer more protection.
Limit your sun exposure. Even in the spring, UV rays are at their strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try and seek the shade when you can during these hours. Don’t be fooled on partly cloudy or overcast days. Did you know that up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate the clouds? Check your local UV Index to plan your activities. This index is based on a scale of 1 to 11+. The higher the number, the higher the amount of UV radiation that reaches the Earth.
Check your skin. You can also protect yourself from the sun by checking your skin monthly, paying attention to any changes. Look for new bumps, moles, skin marking, scaly spots, or any place where your skin may have change color. If a mole changes in any way—such as in shape, size, texture, or color—see your doctor or dermatologist. Even if you don’t note any changes, it is still important to visit your dermatologist annually for a professional evaluation.
Follow these guidelines for a safe, enjoyable spring.