According to the American Cancer Society, staying in the shade is the best way to limit your UV exposure; but if you are going to be in the sun, there are ways to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
- Slip on a shirt. Clothes provide different levels of UV protection. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective besides clothes with a label listing a UV protection factor (UPF).
- Slop on sunscreen. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. A higher SPF number means more UVB protection (although it says nothing about UVA protection). It’s important to know that sunscreen is just a filter – it does not block all UV rays. No sunscreen protects you completely. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied at least every 2 hours to maintain protection.
- Slap on a hat. A hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all around is ideal because it protects areas that are often exposed to intense sun, such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
- Wrap on sunglasses UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves. Research has shown that long hours in the sun without protecting your eyes increase your chances of developing certain eye diseases.