As the weather warms we are all looking forward to spending time in the sun. While it’s healthy for us to do so, it’s also important to practice sunburn prevention.
Sunburn can be dangerous and result in premature aging and skin cancer. So, is it possible to sunbathe while protecting our skin from sunburn?
The answer is yes!
In this article, we will explore sunburn prevention tips so you can take care of your skin and still enjoy the sun.
Who is More Likely to Get Sunburn?
Your skin type gives you a clue whether or not you are prone to get sunburn. If you have red hair and freckles, fair skin, and blue or green eyes, you need to be even more careful in the sun than others.
The sun’s UV rays affect everyone’s skin and eyes. However, those with light skin tend to sunburn more and their skin becomes more damaged.
The skin tans when it absorbs the ultraviolet rays from the sun. This tan is due to an increase of skin cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for making the brown pigment called melanin. This pigment not only darkens the skin but has the ability to block UV rays and prevent skin damage to a point.
Naturally, people with darker skin have more melanocytes. So, their skin acts as a natural sun blocker. Still, it’s wise to wear sunscreen regardless of your skin type if you plan to spend more than 15 minutes in the sun.
There are six skin types, from the most likely to least likely to sunburn.
- Type I – Red hair with freckles and extremely sensitive skin
- Type II – Fair skin, blue eyes, and very sensitive skin
- Type III – Most Caucasians are in this category and have sensitive skin
- Type IV – Mediterranean, Hispanic, and Asian people have moderately sensitive skin
- Type V – Middle Eastern, Latino, Indian, and light-skinned African Americans have less sensitive skin
- Type VI – Dark-skinned Africans who are the least likely to experience sunburns
Tips to Prevent Sunburns
There are plenty of ways to prevent getting sunburn. Below are the most popular prevention tips.
Gradually expose yourself to sunlight. If you’re at the beach, spend most of your time in the shade on the first day. Slowly increase exposure as your skin gets used to the sun.
Avoid Peak Hours
Avoid spending time in the sun during peak hours. If you want to tan with sunburn, go in the morning or late afternoon. According to research studies, you should wear sunscreen between 10 am and 2 pm.
30 SPF Sunscreen and Higher
The best way to prevent sunburn is to wear sunscreen. Choose hypoallergenic, fragrance-free sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it to the face and any exposed skin.
If you want to obtain Vitamin D, spend ten minutes in the sun before applying sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend using one ounce of sunscreen to cover the body. Do not use sunscreen on babies younger than six months old.
Make sure to wear lip balm with SPF protection too. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the top of your ears and nose as these areas tend to sunburn faster.
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before exposure to the sun, unless you’re trying to get Vitamin D. Reapply sunscreen every few hours or after going in the water. The FDA stated no sunscreen is waterproof.
Wear a Hat
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat that covers your back and neck. This will create shade to prevent sunburn. Also, remember to wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
These practices are essential for sunburn prevention.
Wear Sun Protective Clothing
You should also wear sun-protective clothing. These items of clothing are available certified under international standards to protect against UV rays.
Wet t-Shirts offer less UV protection than dry shirts. Therefore, make sure to change your clothes when they get wet.
Staying hydrated is essential for your health when out in the sun. Add a pack of electrolytes to your water for better hydration. You need even more water if you get a sunburn because it draws fluid to the skin and away from the rest of the body.
When tanning in the sun, be sure to roll over periodically. This will help you avoid getting a sunburn on one side of your body.
More Facts About Sunburn
Did you know that the UV light from the sun can also bounce off various surfaces like water, snow, or concrete? This means that even when you are in a shady area, let’s say under an umbrella, you can still get a sunburn.
Even during a cloudy day, you expose your skin to UV rays. Spending too much time outside on an overcast day without sunscreen can result in sunburn.
The solution is simple. Limit your exposure to the sun. If you spend more time outside, wear clothes to protect your body from the sun. Sunburn prevention isn’t hard! Just take the necessary precautions and you’ll protect your skin.
Fortunately, there are some ways to help heal your sunburn faster at home if you do spend too much time outside.