Stay safe in the sun

We live in California, it’s natural for us to want to get out and enjoy the sunshine during the summer.  A healthy dose of Vitamin D is great, but did you know that it only takes 15-20 minutes of sun exposure to achieve that dose?  Any longer than this and you are apt to get burned.  Especially if you’re not wearing sunscreen, and sunburn is NO fun.

According to the American Cancer Society, UV rays such as those from the sun or tanning beds are the #1 cause of skin cancer.  Besides sunburn, overexposure to the sun can also cause eye damage, premature wrinkles, and brown spots.  By taking a few simple steps, you can avoid these risks:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher when outside for an extended period of time.  Reapply every two hours, or after swimming.  Especially for kids as their skin is very sensitive.
  • Cover up!  Wear a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and shoulders.  Wear sunglasses as well – they do serve a purpose.  Make sure your sunglasses block at least 99% of UV light.
  • Stay in the shade.  Especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  This is when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
  • Stay away from tanning beds!  These cause just as much damage as direct sunlight.  Opt for a spray on tan instead.  Yes, it’s fake but you’ll be thankful when you get older.

For those of you wondering if there is a way to get a safe suntan, according to a Harvard Health study (and we trust Harvard), the answer is NO.