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Summer Pool Tips: Protecting Yourself From the Sun!

What’s more fun than summer sun? Catching rays and soaking up Vitamin D while avoiding sunburns! Here is our guide for enjoying the sun while staying safe.


What Kind of Sunscreen Should You Use?

With literally thousands of options in beauty stores, pharmacies and online, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when selecting which sunscreen to use.

Depending on skin tone, age (children versus adults) and sun exposure (the face versus legs), pick a sunscreen with an SPF ranging from 15 to 50. Though it’s tempting to buy the bottle with the glaring “SPF 100” label, studies show that the increase in sun protection is very minute from one with a sun protection factor of 50 – about a 1% difference – and can contain unbalanced ingredients. Choose one that is labeled “broad spectrum” – meaning that it protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Opt for a lotion sunscreen instead of a spray or powder. Lotion is easier to see, allowing for a more thorough application! A spray makes it easier to miss spots and apply too little.

Apply sunscreen no less than 15 minutes before going out, using about a shot glass’ worth (not using the recommended amount of sunscreen will reduce its effectiveness significantly). Reapply every couple of hours, but more often if you or the kiddos are sweating, or are in and out of the water.

Still wondering which brands to check out? Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of best sunscreens.

What Should You Wear While Out In The Sun?

Wide-brimmed hats do more than make fun fashion statements; they can protect the scalp, neck, nose, ears, forehead, and eyes! Wear one whenever you’re outside doing yard work or lounging by the pool for easy protection. The same goes for sunglasses. Wear shades that specifically state that they block ultraviolet rays.

Though not ideal for hot summer weather, long pants and skirts, and long-sleeved shirts work best for sun protection. Also, dark colors and tightly woven fabrics shield sun rays better than lighter colors and loosely woven fabric. If you’re not set on covering up, focus on thorough sunscreen application!

Additionally, swimsuit lines are continuously creating suits that protect from UV rays – these are especially great for children.

What Else Can You Do?

If you wear make-up, choose products with SPF. It’s easy to find foundations, moisturizers and lip products with the recommended amount of SPF.

Set up umbrellas, canopies or whatever it takes to create shade. Be sure children take breaks from the sun, and keep toddler and infant exposure minimal (sunscreen should generally not be applied to very young infants). Younger children’s skin that has not yet produced significant amounts of melanin will be much more vulnerable to the sun.

Don’t be fooled by clouds! Though they block sunlight, clouds don’t block all UV rays, meaning it’s still possible to get burned. While the sky may be gray, harmful rays are still shining through.

Peak sun hours fall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so schedule playtime and breaks accordingly. Otherwise, stay diligent about sun care during these hours, and enjoy the summer!