Where “feeling the burn” is a great sign if you’re pumping iron at the gym, they aren’t however the words you want to hear if you’ve been out in the bright hot sun all day! Whether you tan like a seasoned pro or you have to ease your way into your summertime glow; when it comes to fun in the sun the first thought of concern should be how to prevent yourself from getting too much sun.
The sun’s rays are typically the strongest during the hours of 10:00am-4:00pm, however this does not mean you are protected from the sun’s rays outside of that time frame. An SPF of 30 or above is recommended by dermatologist which is said to block 97% of the suns UVB rays. Remember, your skin will not always turn red immediately as you are getting burned, you can be burning and the painful, red skin won’t show up until hours after you are already back inside. It is highly encouraged to reapply sunscreen every two hours, maybe even more often if you are in and out of water, and not just “eyeball” if you are turning pink yet.
As much as we chase after that sun kissed skin for summer, there are some serious risks from getting unprotected sun exposure to consider when heading out to get your tan on. Too much exposure to UVA rays can damage the skin cells which potentially can lead to skin cancer such as melanoma. Heat rash can occur in humid climates which cause the pores of the skin to get clogged producing red bumps on the skins surface. UV rays can cause the skin to age prematurely creating lost elasticity which results in wrinkles and dark spots. Sunburn and dehydration are among the first symptoms of too much sun exposure, so be sure to have sunblock on hand and drink plenty of water when you know you’re going to be in the sun.
While Vitamin D is a natural mood booster, overall there are no significant health benefits to long periods of exposure to the sun. Your best approach is to wear daily sunscreen to keep your skin protected from harmful rays as you enjoy long summer days and chase after the perfect sun kissed glow.