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10 ways to Protect your skin from the harsh sun

Learn 10 ways to easily minimize sun exposure so you can spend time outdoors safely.

Fashion & Beauty By Ariba KhaliqApr 21, 2014

The Sun and its Side-effects

No matter what time of year it is, it is important to protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. While you have fun outside on beautiful, sunny summer days, the sun’s ultraviolet rays damage your skin, causing sunburn, unsightly sun spots, wrinkles, and, in some cases, skin cancer. Learn 10 ways to easily minimize sun exposure so you can spend time outdoors safely. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Wear Sunscreen

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Be sure to spread it on thick enough: Applying only a thin coating of a sunscreen can reduce the effectiveness of the product by as much as 50 percent. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Cover Up

The Skin Cancer Foundation says that hats and clothing made of dark, tightly woven materials absorb ultraviolet light better than cotton fabrics in lighter shades. Dry fabrics offer more protection than wet ones. Women can select a stylish wide-brimmed hat, and men can choose a bucket hat or a Panama hat to help block the sun. A hat protects the top of your head, where you can’t apply sunscreen, and also offers added protection for your face and neck. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Stay Indoors

The sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Stay indoors during this time, or if you must be outdoors, cover up and wear sunscreen. Consider using an oversized umbrella if you plan to go to the beach this summer. The umbrella also provides an area for you and your family to cool off after a day in the hot sun. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Wear Sunglasses

Light-coloured eyes have more sensitivity to the sun’s rays, but everyone should wear sunglasses when the sun shines. Sun damage to the eyes can cause cataracts and pteryguim, which block your vision. Make sure to wear glasses that have 99 or 100% UVA and UVB protection and wrap completely around your eyes, to ensure full protection. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Avoid Reflective Surfaces

Be careful around water, snow, or sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase the chance of sunburn. Keep in mind that even umbrellas or shade trees provide only moderate protection from ultraviolet light, and they don't protect you from rays reflected off sand, snow, concrete and many other surfaces. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Avoid Sun-bathing

There is no such thing as a "healthy tan." But while sunbathing is a no-no for everyone, it's an especially bad idea for fair-skinned people. Many of them can't tan anyway and only risk getting a serious burn. Limit sun exposure between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when the sun's rays are the most intense. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun's rays are at their strongest, and you should find shade. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Don’t be Fooled by Weather

Damaging rays aren't inhibited by clouds, and you can still get burned because ultraviolet light can penetrate cloud cover. Take precautions even when the sun isn't shining brightly. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Watch Out for Photosensitivity

Some drugs, such as tetracycline and diuretics, can make your skin extra sensitive to sun exposure and increase the risk of sunburn. Some herbal medicines, such as St. John's Wort, have a similar effect. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Avoid Using Tanning Beds

UVA rays from tanning beds penetrate the skin even deeper than UVB rays do. Over time, exposure to UVA rays can make skin dry and wrinkled and increase the risk of skin cancer. Image Courtesy: Getty Images



Eat More Antioxidants

Eating antioxidants provides some protection against the sun’s rays. Fill up on fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of green tea this summer for maximum protection for your skin. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

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