Although it is already April, many people have yet to come out of their indoor winter reclusion. Forgotten are the methods of arming one’s self with sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen to battle the subtropical climate. Winter hang-ups lead to people going out in shorts and tank tops at the first sign of sunlight, only to leave them crispy and crimson. With spring in full swing and summer weather right around the corner, it is time to dust off the dormant memories of how to deal with the Texas summers.
While the sun is a main source of life for all living things, it can also be harmful and do detrimental damage. Intense southern heat may make people worry about their makeup sweating off, but the real danger lies in the harmful UV rays that the sun puts off in warmer months. Among the few types of ultraviolet radiation are UVA and UVB. UVA radiation causes premature aging and wrinkles while UVB radiation causes sunburn and leads to the development of skin cancer.
According to a study from skincancer.org, less than one third of American children practice effective sun protection, and less than half of all teenagers use sunscreen on a daily basis. Tanning may be a fad in the present moment, but it is no doubt that sunburn and premature aging will never be on a top trend list. Follow these tips to prevent the painful sting of sunburn in the coming sunny months
1. Wear Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30:
Lower SPFs may help prevent some sunburn, but will not prevent the development of skin cancer. When it comes to SPF, the higher the number the better. Try to find lip balm or chapstick with a similar SPF to protect your lips as well. Remember to wear sunscreen year round, even if it’s cloudy. Also, be sure to check the expiration date on your sunscreen to make sure that it isn’t expired.
2. Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating:
Water resistant sunscreen is the best choice, but even then that does not make it invincible. Various activities melt sunscreen off and individuals are left exposed to dangerous rays and none the wiser. Try reapplying every time you take a water break to make sure that your skin stays safe.
3. Avoid the sun in its peak hours from 10 am – 4 pm:
This is the time that the sun is the brightest, hottest, and most dangerous. If 100 degree heat doesn’t have you resting in the shade or indoors, the awareness of harmful UV rays should. Try exercising, swimming, or partaking in outside activities in the morning or afternoon where you will stay cooler and your skin will be safer.
4. Wear protective clothing:
Stock up quality sunglasses, wide brimmed hats that cover your ears and neck, and tightly woven clothing to ensure that the most delicate parts of you will not become charred.
5. Avoid tanning beds:
As if all of the prior points didn’t inform you, excessive sun exposure is bad. Consider a spray tan if you must turn a few shades darker. Teens have more delicate skin cells than adults, so starting a harmful habit at an early age will only be regrettable later down the road.
With these helpful hints, avoiding the burning red haze everyone knows and hates will be a breeze. However, if sunburn does find you, a few simple applications of aloe vera or ice should ease the sting and aid in the healing process. Remember to stay safe and cool in the heated future months, Brahmas.