The sun and I have a love hate relationship. I love a good sunrise and thoroughly enjoy laying out on the beach feeling the warm rays on my skin.
And the sun loves to burn me.
Having blonde hair and fair skin, I've experienced my fair share of sunburns. Some far worse then others.
Over the years I've learned to follow a few strict rules to keep myself away from sunburns and hopefully a future of skin cancer.
Rule 1: Sunscreen Daily
In my experience, most people put on sunscreen when they know they'll be spending hours out in the sun. The occasional afternoon at the pool, day at the theme park, or the wonderful beach day.
But we really should be wearing sunscreen far more regularly. Personally, I've made it a habit of putting on sunscreen each morning and late afternoon. Sunscreen typically only lasts a few hours so you really should apply twice a day.
I mainly apply it to my face, neck, and back of my hands. When I know I'll be spending significant time outdoors I apply it to any exposed skin.
If you will be outside for a long time make sure to reapply regularly.
Rule 2: Hats are Your Friend
I never really wore hats growing up, it just wasn't my thing. But as an adult their becoming a part of my daily attire more and more.
There's a few benefits to wearing them regularly. First, the protect your face and, depending on the style of hat, your neck from the sun.
Second, they protect your scalp from sun damage. The top of your head is not a place you normally think of for applying sunscreen. As a person whose had more than one sunburn on the crown of my head I can assure you, you want to avoid them at all costs.
It's like the worlds worst dandruff times a thousand.
Wearing a hat protects your head from these damaging rays.
Rule 3: Sunglasses Everywhere
I got a wake up call a few months ago when the eye doctor told me I'd be going blind if I didn't start wearing sunglasses all the time.
I owned a pair of sunglasses but wasn't great about remembering them. After that doctors visit I now own about 5 pairs. Their scattered between my house, work, and cars.
I wear them everywhere. We went to the state fair a while back and I forgot to bring glasses. So I bought a new pair of cheap ones to wear for the day.
Even if you have darker eyes that are less sensitive to the sun you can still severely damage them with too much sun exposure.
The danger isn't in one time exposure but the compounding effect it has over years and years of time in the sun.
These three rules are ones I stick to each and every day. While some damage has surely already been done, I firmly believe that if I stick to these rules I'll avoid even greater potential damage.
Below is a fantastic infographic I found on sunscreen. You'll find it helpful in calculating how long you can wait before reapplying sunscreen.
Source: Fix.com Blog