The summer temps are heating up and the outdoor activities are plentiful this time of year, from swimming and golfing to jet skiing and baseball. Before you head outside on your next summer adventure, don’t forget to protect yourself and your kids against the sun’s harsh, damaging rays. The sun is responsible for 80% of premature skin aging and is a known cause of skin cancer—90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. And no one wants a bad sunburn!
Below, UnderCover WaterWear CEO and founder Rachel Tabbouche shares her top sun safety tips that are available for you to share (with proper credit and a link back to the site). Check them out!
- Avoid Peak UV Hours—the sun is at its peak between the hours of 10:00am – 3:00pm, when damaging UV rays are at their highest. Limit sun exposure during this timeframe. Plan walks and swim lessons outside of this timeframe if possible.
- Find or Make Shade—if you’re going to be outside with your kids, try to play in the shade as much as possible. Take an umbrella or canopy to the beach, as the sun can damage unprotected skin in just 15 minutes. Keep infants in the shade at all times because they lack the tanning pigments known as melanin to protect their skin and most sunscreens are for babies 6+ months. The American Academy of Pediatrics only approves sunscreen use on babies under 6 months if no other option is available. And remember: just one bad sunburn in childhood doubles the risk of melanoma later in life.
- Use SPF 30+ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen—from summer to winter, always wear a sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that prevents sunburn and protects against skin damage (UVA and UVB rays). Many sunscreens only protect against sunburn. Apply 30 minutes prior to going out into the sun to allow time for the sunscreen to bind to skin. Reapply every 2 hours at the minimum. Furthermore, sunscreen SPF does not stack; layering a 10 SPF on top of a 20 does not equal a 30. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating.
- How Much Sunscreen to Apply—each person should be applying approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen prior to sun exposure—this is about the size of a shot glass full. If you’re planning on being in the sun for an extended amount of time, plan on using ¼ to ½ of an 8 ounce bottle.
- Wear a Hat & Sunglasses—protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays by wearing protective clothing, sunglasses, and a hat. Make sure your sunglasses provide UV protection. UV radiation is the leading cause of cataracts. Are you prone to melasma (the brown patches women tend to get on their faces)? One of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection, so put on a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to help prevent the spots from starting.
- Wear Sunscreen When It’s Cloudy—up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reach you on a completely cloudy day. This misperception often leads to the most serious sunburns, because people spend all day outdoors with no protection from the sun. So slather on the sunscreen on cloudy days too. And remember, all skin tones are susceptible to sun damage, regardless of how easily you do or do not burn.
- Sun Safety at School & Daycare—know your school and daycare policy on sunscreen. Some schools are not allowed to apply sunscreen to children or treat it like a medicine and need written approval from the parent. Know your school and daycare policy, but also play it safe by applying to your child before they leave as well. If allowed, send them with a sun hat and protective clothing.
- Avoid Sunburns at All Costs—too many sunburns can lead to skin problems in adulthood, including skin cancer. Unprotected sun exposure also leads to premature wrinkles and aging. So while tanned skin may look appealing, it indicates sun damage and may accelerate the aging process. Remember, UVA rays can cause dark patches, loose skin, and wrinkles, even though they don’t cause the skin to burn. Both UVA and UVB rays cause DNA damage, which increases skin cancer risk. And with skin cancer accounting for 50% of all cancer cases, it is something to take seriously.
The sun safety tips listed above and the infographic below are available to share with the credit given to UnderCover WaterWear. Please contact us for reprint permission and hi res photo requests.
About UnderCover WaterWear:
Rachel Tabbouche is the founder and CEO of UnderCover WaterWear, a swim and casual wear collection that provides women and girls with swimwear that is both sun protective and offers maximum coverage. It’s perfect for when you want to be active and look good all while staying safe in the sun. Undercover Waterwear’s modest swimwear is worn on top of your own swim suit, so you can buy just one swim suit. All swimwear is made of a special Lycra and Spandex swim fabric that is chlorine-proof, non-clingy in water, and has UPF 50+—it protects your skin from the suns strong rays without having to apply sunscreen. UnderCover WaterWear is available in Girl’s, Women’s and Plus sizes. Made in the USA.