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5 Tips for Sun Safety

It is a hot July day, 90 degrees with a slight breeze and you are sitting at the beach perfecting your tan. How do you enjoy the beautiful summer weather, but also protect your skin? In honor of Sun Safety Month here are 5 easy ways to protect your skin from the sun and everyday toxins.

Tip #1: Use sunscreen. Make sure your sunscreen is greater than 15 SPF and that you reapply every 2-3 hours, unless you are sweaty or wet, then more frequently. Make sure your sunscreen is not expired and you buy new at the beginning of the season. If you have an HSA, check into the ability to utilize it for sunscreen to protect yourself against skin cancer.

Tip #2: Utilize shade. Long days at the beach can be tough on our skin even with sunscreen. Make sure to bring an umbrella to occasionally get out of the sun and cool off or find a nice tree to settle under while out at the park.

Tip #3: Utilize protective clothing. If you are out on the water or going for a hike, utilize protective clothing to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sporting companies now make shirts and pants with UV protection that act like 50+ SPF.

Tip #4: Have a good skin care routine and avoid long, hot showers as well as strong soaps. Always pat dry after a shower and apply moisturizer.

Tip #5: Eat healthy. According to Mayo Clinic antioxidant rich foods help protect the skin. Foods such as carrots, apricots, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, spinach, berries, salmon, other fatty fishes, and nuts are high in antioxidants and are heart healthy as well!

What if you follow the above sun safety tips, and manage to get sunburnt anyway? It is even more important to take care of your skin after you have been burned. Always protect it from further sun exposure. If you start to peel, do not pick or pull at it and do not pop blisters. Let your skin heal naturally. Applying moisturizer and drinking plenty of water will help decrease the amount of peeling and speed the healing process. Reach out to your physician or a dermatologist with further questions about how to keep your skin safe this summer.