5 Skin Protection Essentials for Sun Safety Month
Did you know there’s an important skin cancer awareness campaign this August? Sun Safety Month is all about having fun outdoors without getting burned. It’s a great educational opportunity for your families and employees, and there are several things you can do to make it entertaining. Learn about how to promote essential skin protection tips and sun safety facts during the month of August in this guide.
What Is Sun Safety Month?
Summer Sun Safety Month is an awareness campaign for sun damage observed in August. Since the sun is at its peak in summer, it’s the perfect time to learn about how to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight.
Exposure to UV radiation damages your skin and DNA. Children, the elderly and people who work outdoors are more vulnerable to sunburns. Repeated damage from sunlight can lead to the development of skin cancers.
Why Is Sun Safety Important?
It’s great to enjoy the outdoors during the sunniest time of the year. You can get vitamin D through sunlight and stay physically active by going outside. Despite all the good the sun does, it’s important to know how to protect yourself from skin cancer, which is a very serious threat.
You can be exposed to UV radiation from the sun, heat lamps and tanning beds. UV rays are invisible to the naked eye but can cause a lot of damage to your skin. People usually cannot tell when intense direct sunlight is burning them until they notice redness and other sunburn symptoms hours later. Once your skin is damaged, it will peel and flake as new skin cells replace the dead tissues.
Protecting your skin from UV rays is important at all times of the year, but more people are vulnerable during summer. Even if the weather is cloudy, you are still exposed to some UV rays and your skin can burn. Sunlight that shines off of water, sand or other reflective surfaces can also create sunburns. You also have to be careful in the winter when the sunlight can reflect off of the snow.
How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Knowing how to protect your skin and using methods to block the sun from doing damage can help prevent cancer later in life. Below are some sun protection tips for keeping your family safe:
1. Stay in the Shade
Try to spend most of your day in the shade or away from direct sunlight if you can. Take time to rest safely from games and other activities under the trees or inside. If you’re on the beach, set up an umbrella for when you’re out of the water.
Many people are able to tan even when they spend most of their time outdoors in shady areas. If you want to get a tan, see if you can tan gradually instead of all at once. Gradual tanning is healthier for your skin and reduces your risk of sunburn.
2. Apply Sunscreen
Why is sunscreen important if you’re mainly in the shade or a shelter? Using sunscreen is a must if you’re planning to spend a long day outdoors. Many people can get sunburned even after spending most of their time in the shade. If you’re planning to have fun near the water, sunscreen is the only thing that will protect your bare skin from UV radiation.
Make sure you apply your sunscreen generously anywhere your skin is exposed and reapply throughout the day — especially if you are getting in the water.
3. Wear Protective Clothing
Hats, sunglasses, long sleeves and pants are the best clothing for keeping your skin safe from the sun’s rays. Dark colors and thick fabrics tend to offer the most protection. Protective clothing often provides more protection than shade. If you are swimming, you should still bring a cover-up that covers your arms and legs along with sunglasses and a wide-brim hat.
4. Check the Weather Report
To check your skin exposure risk specifically, look for the UV Index for your area. The UV index is a forecast of how intense the daily UV rays will be. If the UV index is above three, this means you need to protect your skin from the sun when you go outside. Apply sunscreen or use another method of protection if you are going to be outdoors for longer than 30 minutes.
How to Apply Sunscreen Correctly
It’s important to use other methods of protecting your skin in combination with sunscreen. Also, you should avoid applying sunscreen to babies younger than six months. You can apply your sunscreen correctly by following these tips:
- Check the expiration date: Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time. Before you reuse your old sunscreen tube from last year, make sure it’s still in date. If you are unable to find an expiration date, the shelf life for most sunscreen products is three years, but sunscreen left out in the heat loses its effectiveness more quickly.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen: Make sure you get broad-spectrum sunscreen that can block UVA and UVB rays. UVA radiation has a long wavelength and can age your skin, while UVB radiation has a short wavelength and causes sunburns.
- Use a high sun protection factor (SPF): For the greatest protection, use sunscreen with an SPF of higher than 20. You should apply a higher SPF sunscreen to small children, who can get sunburned more easily.
- Generously apply the sunscreen: Slather a thick layer of sunscreen on any skin that will be exposed to the sunlight. Pay attention to areas like the tops of the ears, the tip of the nose and the neck and shoulder area, as they tend to receive more concentrated rays.
- Reapply regularly: Reapply the sunscreen after two hours in the sun or after going swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
Sun Safety Month Essentials
You want to carry a few essential items to protect your skin from harsh UV rays when you go outdoors. It also helps to have access to refreshing drinks and other items that can help you beat the heat and stay hydrated. Below are some of the best items to have for protecting yourself from the sun:
1. A Hat
Wear a hat with a wide brim and thick material like canvas if you have to work outdoors. This type of hat can shade sensitive areas like your ears and the back of your neck. A dark-colored canvas hat offers the greatest degree of protection from UV rays as sunlight might penetrate thin materials like straw.
If you have to wear a small hat with low coverage, use sunscreen around your ears and the back of your neck. Even if you have long hair, you can still get sunburned easily in these sensitive places.
UV reflective lenses can protect your eyes from the sunlight, reducing your risk of developing cataracts later in life. Be sure to find sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays. These sunglasses are the most popular, so most brands will sell them. You can also get wrap-around sunglasses, which block the maximum amount of UV rays from getting into your eyes.
3. Protective Clothing
Wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts when you have to work or spend a lot of time outside is the best protection from the sun. If you’re going swimming, try using a beach towel or a cover to stay safe. You can put a t-shirt over your bathing suit when you’re done swimming, but avoid getting your street clothes wet in an attempt to block out the sunlight, because wet fabrics are less protective of your skin.
The best clothing for protecting your skin from the sun is made from tightly woven fabrics. Some clothing also has certification for UV protection.
4. A Water Bottle
You might think that carrying a bottle of water with you does little to protect your skin, but if you’re going to be spending time outside, you need to stay hydrated. If you are dehydrated from going hours without drinking anything, your skin will burn more easily, and dehydration is also a symptom of severe sunburn. Keep water in your tissues by taking water with you, especially if you are planning to spend more than an hour outdoors or if you will be engaging in any physical activities.
5. A Fan
Of all the items on this list, a fan offers the least protection for your skin, but having one on hand can help you cool down if you start to feel too hot. Holding a manual fan like a fold-up bamboo fan can also provide a small amount of shade.
Other Sun Protection Tips and Facts
Below are some additional sun safety tips for having the most fun outdoors:
1. Avoid Getting Sunburned
Getting a sunburn is an unfortunate consequence of spending too much time in the sun. Avoiding direct sunlight can help prevent or reduce damage to your skin more than anything else. Frequent sunburns cause your skin to age faster and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
You should avoid sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest. If you have to go out in the sun, remember to use sunscreen.
2. Stay Hydrated
You will dehydrate quickly if you spend hours outdoors in the heat. When you’re active outdoors or just spend a lot of time in a hot environment, you need to consume more water than usual. It also helps to drink fluids with electrolytes. Bring a cooler to your outings and consume plenty of water to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and severe sunburn.
Your access to clean, fresh water is especially important if you’re working in the heat or actively participating in fun and games on the beach. Some sports drinks contain electrolytes, but it’s better to go for low- or no-sugar options.
3. Practice Car Safety
Vehicles trap heat, magnifying the effects of sunlight. You can quickly become sunburned or overheated from sitting in a vehicle in the summer. Even with the air conditioning turned on full blast, it’s possible to get sunburned from the rays coming in through the windshield or side windows.
If you have to wait in your car, use a windshield cover to stay in the shade. Avoid leaving your pets or children alone, which can be very dangerous. A vehicle can quickly become hotter on the inside than the outside temperature.
4. Practice Water Safety
When you’re in the water, your risk of getting sunburned actually increases. You feel cooler because the water helps regulate your body temperature so you may fail to realize you’re getting burned. It’s important to wear sunscreen any time you go swimming, but especially when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Make sure you also practice all safety protocols, like wearing a life jacket when on a watercraft, using the buddy system when in the ocean and watching all children closely. Pools and natural water can be a lot of fun when you stay safe.
Sun Safety Promotional Items
Do you want to promote sun safety at your company? You can give the following promotional items to your employees:
- Sunscreen: Your employees will appreciate receiving sunscreen as a free perk of working at a company that values sun safety. It’s the perfect summer gift and their entire families can use it. ePromos carries several promotional sunscreens, including some with matching protecting lip balm.
- Hats: Matching hats give your employees a sense of unity while also protecting their heads and necks from the sun. Having a company hat makes you feel like you’re truly part of a team, and you can select a style of hat that suits your business and varying seasons.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are much more than a trendy fashion item — they offer superior eye protection from the summer sun. Getting your employees promotional sunglasses for a special event or festival is a wonderful way to show how much you care.
- Umbrellas: Umbrellas are as useful in hot, sunny weather as they are for deflecting rain. You can choose a type of umbrella to sell or give away that will work the best as a helpful tool for visiting beaches and pools.
- Water bottles: Water bottles have many uses, from hiking to gym trips, but staying hydrated is important when you spend a lot of time outdoors. Remind your employees to take water with them on hot days with a customized water bottle of the style and color of your choosing.
- Fans: A battery-powered fan is a luxury when you’re out on the water or spending a day walking around in the heat. You can provide the type of fan that best fits your company, with options like manual to battery-powered.
Encourage Sun Safety With ePromos
ePromos can provide products that encourage employees to make healthy choices on their travels or at fun work functions. We have a variety of sun safety items for any occasion, style or team. Contact us at 877-377-6667 if you have questions about our productsor check out our online store.