Most people assume that they can get sunburn only when the sun is shining so bright. However, you can also be putting yourself at risk by exposing your skin to direct sunlight even on a cloudy day.
The risk of sun damage depends on the level of UV rays you expose yourself to. Your skin sensitivity matters also. If you have extremely sensitive skin, staying under UV Rays of 3 and above is dangerous for you.
If you stay in a country like the UK where there is a strong presence of the sun for more than half of the year, you can risk exposure to strong sunlight. Your skin needs the sun, but not excessively. In this article, you will learn top tips for protecting your skin in the sun.
When Am I At Risk Of Sunburn?
Anyone can get sunburned but at different levels of sun exposure. You can easily know which sun UV rays can cause sunburn for you through the UV index. The higher the UV rating, the more the sun can damage your skin, and at a faster rate too.
Prolonged direct contact under sun exposure as high as UV 3 and above will cause sunburn. Constant exposure to such UV levels will eventually damage your skin or put you at risk of skin cancer.
Below is the UV index/ratings:
- UV 1-2 means you’re under low exposure. As such, your skin doesn’t need any sun protection such as sunscreen.
- UV 3-5 means there is moderate exposure to sun rays, and you need to apply sunscreen or other sun protection measures.
- UV 6-7 equals high exposure, and your skin needs protection regardless of your skin tone/pigment
- UV 8-9+ is a very high exposure level. Your skin can burn fast. So get sunscreen protection and stay away from direct sunlight.
About nine out of ten melanoma skin cancer patients could have prevented getting the disease if they applied safety measures in direct sun exposure. The sun gets you the necessary vitamin D you need for each day but can become harmful if you stay under it for too long.
As such, it is better to be safe than sorry by always protecting your skin, whether the sun is glaring or mild. When you need to be outside for a lengthy period, make it a habit to do the following:
1. Apply Sunscreen
Use sunscreen on areas of your body that your clothes can’t cover. Your face should be properly covered with sunscreen. Don’t just go for any sunscreen. Look for one with SPF15 or 20 with enough positive reviews from verified purchasers.
Ensure to apply the sunscreen at intervals, especially if you are engaged outside for a longer duration.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Harsh sunlight usually occurs during the summer and in hot weather. As much as you’re tempted to wear the skimpiest clothes, don’t wear outfits that will expose your skin too much. Instead, go for breathable loose clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunshades that will protect you from UV rays.
3. Take Cover In The Shade
If you’re working at home, set up an umbrella where you can rest from the sun or under a tree. You can also take a break by going inside at intervals.
4. Take Supplements
Instead of putting yourself at risk of sun damage, try to include vitamin D supplements in your daily diet to safeguard your intake without overexposing yourself to sun. Also, eat foods such as fish, eggs, and red meat which are rich in vitamin D.
In summary, sunlight is good for your body, but too much of it can be harmful. Consider getting a prescription for good vitamin D supplements from your physician to reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun for your daily dose of vitamin D.