This July, Take Control of UV Safety

July is UV Safety Month!

As summer comes to a peak, beach days are frequent and you – and many others – are taking advantage of the lovely warmth and the beautiful oceans. A bad sunburn can ruin a good vacation with your family, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them. There are other risks associated with overexposure to UV rays, too. July is UV safety month, so we’re here to bring some attention to a very real health risk: skin cancer. Skin cancer is a very real threat, and just one bad sunburn can put you at risk. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotches or spots on your skin. These are just some of the reasons why Vitality Directory is proud to participate in UV Safety Month and help raise awareness of the risks of sun damage.

Ultraviolet rays and how to protect yourself

While most parents remember to rubs sunscreen on their kids once or twice, they often forget to apply it to themselves or worse – they don’t apply it often enough. Teenagers are equally guilty of forgetting to care for their summer skin, which can put them at an ever greater risk for complications later in life. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours at least. Sun protectant skincare is even important for those who choose the air conditioned comfort of tanning studios where artificial sunlamps are used to tan the skin. Many think they’re limiting their risk by doing so, but the ultra-violet light in these lamps is just as potent as what you’ll find laying on a towel on the sand. What’s more is that these artificial lights can also cause eye problems, weakened immune systems, age spots and more.

Tips to Protect Yourself

As we’ve said many times before, prevention is always the best course of action. Most experts recommend avoiding extensive sun exposure between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M when the rays are at their strongest. If you just can’t resist hitting the beach or working in your garden, there are other steps you can take to ensure the best care of your skin.

–Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
–Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
–Stay in the shade when possible.
–Wear Sunglasses
–Check your skin regularly for changes.
–Apply sunscreen often, and always reapply after swimming and drying off.

Finding the Best Sunscreen

For most people, 15 SPF provides plenty of protection from the sun if applied as directed. For those with light features and fair skin or a history of skin cancer or other skin issues, SPF 30 or above is recommended in order to properly prevent against painful burns. People with autoimmune diseases should also use higher SPFs as they may be more sensitive to sun exposure. Regardless of the SPF, you may only be getting protection from UVB rays. The active ingredients are what provide protection from the UVA, so it’s important to look for products with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Always apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before exposure and be sure to get the hard to reach or easy to miss areas like lips, ears, feet, and the backs of your legs.

If you’re an active person or you intend to swim, look for water and sweatproof sunscreen. If you’re going to be swimming or sweating for extended periods of time, be sure to purchase products labeled as very water resistant for the longest lasting protection.

For those looking for daily protection with less effort, many moisturising creams and lotions have SPF protection qualities, so using these daily can help prevent premature ageing due to sun exposure. Many cosmetics also employ protective qualities, but sunscreen can also be applied under makeup for maximum protection.

Always remember that UV rays can affect you year round and that these protective tips don’t only apply themselves to the summer months!

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Sources: healthfinder.gov, Web MD, and Federal Occupation Health.

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