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Sun Safety Tips

On by , Digestive Care Advisor

Sun Safety Tips

Summer is here and that means more time outside for most of us.  Want to keep your skin safe in the sun? Careless exposure to the sun can engender serious health consequences. Not only it can cause more wrinkles and age spots, but it is the number one cause of skin cancer. Follow these sun safety tips to avoid sunburns and keep your skin safe!

Sun Safety Tip 1: Cover Up!

  • Wear a hat with a brim, long sleeved shirts, and pants. Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight. Limit to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat.
  • Don't forget your sunglasses - that provide at least 97% protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear cotton or bamboo clothing. In fact, bamboo is 60% better than cotton at blocking the sun's UV rays! See Bamboo As Sunscreen: Australian Research Study Investigates UV Protection and Bamboo Fiber!

Sun Safety Tip 2: Protect your Skin

  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen (natural sunscreen with organic ingredients is best) with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays. To find a good sunscreen, read Find the Best Sunscreen For You.
  • Apply enough sunscreen and reapply it every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. Keep in mind that natural sunscreens have to be reapplied even more frequently.
  • Protect your skin by staying in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours, between 10 am and 3 pm.
  • Kids are more vulnerable to sun damage. A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. Be even more careful with your child's skin!

Sun Safety Tip 3: Increase Your Fluid Intake

Before prolonged physical activity, make sure you are well-hydrated and increase your fluid intake in excessively hot and humid environments, strenuous exercise, and if you are sweating.

The human body is made up of over 60 percent water and it is important to stay hydrated. That water contains a mixture of minerals, including sodium, calcium and potassium - known as electrolytes, that are lost through kidney functions, sweat and the moisture in breath. They need to be replaced through food and drink especially when it is hot. Electrolyte drinks can be a quick and easy way to stay hydrated while also maintaining the body's vital electrolyte balance.

Sun Safety Tip 4: Be Careful with the Use of Essential Oils

Be careful if using essential oils for your skin. Some of them cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight and one would therefore burn and damage more easily. The main culprits causing phototoxicity are the oils from the citrus family. Here is a list of essential oils that may cause sun sensitivity:

  • Angelica
  • Bergamot
  • Bitter orange (cold pressed)
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Grapefruit (cold pressed)
  • Lemon (cold pressed as well as distilled)
  • Lemon verbena
  • Lime (cold pressed as well as distilled)
  • Orange
  • Mandarin
  • Tagetes
  • Tangerine (cold pressed)
  • Yuzu
Source: Sun sensitivity (phototoxicity) and essential oils

Other Articles, Interviews and Recipes for Skin Protection

If you think this article may be useful for others and want to link to it, please use the following format: Beck, Josephine. "Sun safety tips" June 10, 2011. 

Feel free to leave a comment if you have more sun safety tips to recommend!

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