Are you enjoying the summer sun when it decides to shine? Does your mood improve when you get a chance to be out in the sun a little more? Of course it does. The sun enriches the vitamin D our bodies need. But a few of us get carried away thinking we need to burn to enjoy the benefits of the sun. I hear, "I have to get my first summer burn, then I can enjoy my tan." Wrong! You never have to burn, and you should always protect your skin from the sun.
There are 3 sun rays. They are UVA, UVB, UVC (Ultraviolet radiation ABC). We don't hear much about UVC. These rays stop at our Ozone Layer, and unless you live on top of super high mountain, you will never be exposed. UVB is what we have been concerned with most of our life. Most sunscreens boast UVB protection. But UVA is 90%-95%of all our exposure and is damaging, too!
You can be affected by UVA rays even on a cloudy day. You can be driving and get a tan. The UVA rays will penetrate clouds, glass, clothes, and even sunscreen. You can get a tan with sunscreen. Let me repeat that: You can get a tan with sunscreen. This is the safest way to enjoy the sun, just wear sunscreen!
The UVB rays are most damaging and most prevalent during 10am- 4pm from April to October. UVB rays are also mean and sneaky. They reflect off of water in all its forms including snow and ice. They are very strong in high altitudes. Protection in these circumstances is key.
You should be lotioning your body daily, and should be applying a primer before your make-up. If not, start. You will find a minimum of SPF15 in most high end brands of makeup and lotion. Then your morning regimen is already taking care of you. This is so good! I suggest when you get ready in the morning you put on at least an SPF of 15.
SPF stand for sun protection factor. The 15 means it takes 15 times longer to redden and stop 93% of harmful rays. SPF 30 stops 97% and SPF50 stops 98%. Anything past SPF50 is all about the same. If you get SPF 100 you still have to reapply and protect yourself with extended stays in the sun. If you are exposed all day, reapply at least every 2 hours. You will still get a tan, you will just not suffer or damage yourself as bad. You might also see the word broad spectrum sun block or just UVB protection. Look for broad spectrum. This will protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
When getting ready and protecting your skin, don't forget your part in your hair and the tops of your ears. I think we forget that this is the skin that is the closest to the sun every day. Enjoy the sun--be smart, not burned!