Protect! Tips To Cover Your Skin On A Sunny Day
Do you still need sunscreen if you’re in the shade? When lounging by the pool, is a hat and cover-up necessary if you’re already wearing sunscreen? Which is better: wearing a long-sleeved shirt or sitting under an umbrella?
When it comes to sun protection, figuring out the most effective strategy can seem confusing. Here are a few tips!
Adopting the Siesta
The gold standard for sun protection is to seek shade. Avoiding direct sun exposure and staying in the shade is the best way to limit UV exposure. This is especially true during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., when the sun is most intense. You can also use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you, protect yourself.
While shade can limit your sun exposure, it’s important to know that not all shade protects equally. Harmful UVB rays can reach the skin indirectly thanks to scattered clouds or UV-reflective surfaces like concrete or dry sand. When you’re sitting under a tree or umbrella, you’re still getting some indirect UV light.
Be sun safe in style
The next step in sun protection is wearing protective clothing. This can seem counter-intuitive when you’re out in the sun, since you’re often wearing a swimsuit or minimal clothes.
It’s important to note that just like shade, not all clothes are created equally. Your best option for sun protection is a long-sleeved shirt and long pants in dark colors with a dry, tightly woven fabric.
No shade nearby? Too hot for long clothes?
If shade is your first choice and protective clothing is next, consider sunscreen as your last option. Sunscreen does not block all UV rays, it should be considered a filter and should not be used to extend your time in the sun. It’s best to seek shade, wear protective clothing but if the first two options won’t work for you on a sunny hot day it’s best to find a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of 30 or higher.