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Ahh, summer. Long days, cold drinks, barbecues, beach trips, vacation, and fun times with the people you love. There is so much to love about summer, but during this time of year, it is especially important to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Here are a few things you can do to help lessen the affects the sun has on your largest organ. These tips apply to all skin colors from the lightest to darkest.

Reduce Time in the Sun

The sun’s rays are the strongest during the hours of 10 am to 2 pm. It is especially important to limit your exposure to the sun during this timeframe. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds. So, even on a gloomy day, care must be taken not to spend too much time in the sun. Try to stay in the shade as much as possible when you are outside.

Dress With Care

When picking your selfie-worthy outfit of the day, make sure your clothes adequately protect your body. Try to cover as much of your body as possible if you plan to be outside on a sunny day. A wide-brimmed hat can also help shield you from the sun’s rays. An umbrella can also create a portable source of shade.

Be Serious About Sunscreen

When choosing a sunscreen, check the product’s label to ensure that it has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.  The SPF is the degree to which the sunscreen can protect your skin from sunburn. The sunscreen should have broad spectrum protection that helps protects against skin damage caused by sunlight. Your sunscreen should also be water-resistant so it will stay on your skin longer even if it gets wet. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen as instructed by the label.

Tips for Applying Sunscreen

– Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before going outside

– Evenly apply the recommended amount onto all exposed skin, paying special attention to your lips, nose, neck, ears, hands, and feet

– For the hair challenged (not much hair on your head), don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the top of your head or slap on a hat

– Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours

– Be extra careful with babies in the sun. Apply sunscreen to children older than 6 months of age every time they go outside, and consult your child’s doctor before applying sunscreen to children under 6 months old

Protect Your Eyes

Even some of those who are the most dedicated to skin protection forget to protect their eyes from the sun. Choose eyewear that is labeled “sunglasses” to make sure they will offer you enough protection. Sunglasses should provide 99 to 100 percent UV protection. If you have children, make sure their sunglasses are “real” sunglasses and not toy ones.


Nothing can spoil your summer fun like sunburn. Sun damage to your skin can lead to even worse conditions like skin cancer. Take precaution every day of the year, especially while outside enjoying summer activities.

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