UV Skin Safety: What You Need to Know

Sun safety is so much more than just avoiding sunburn. Here’s a look at UV skin care tips for keeping skin safe, comfortable, and beautiful this summer.

The sun’s UV rays are broken down into three groups based on wavelength. UVC rays are almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere, while UVA and UVB rays reach us and have the potential of causing health issues, including:

  • Sunburn
  • Sun rash
  • Uneven skin tone and texture
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Premature visible signs of aging
  • Skin cancer

In addition to the natural dangers of UV ray overexposure, certain genetic and lifestyle conditions may increase one’s risk of sun damage. Some prescription medications, topical skin treatments, health conditions, and other factors all contribute to a predisposition to sun damage. Always check with your doctor to find out if you are at increased risk of sun damage, and how you can best protect yourself.

On the other side of the coin, reasonable sun exposure is an important part of keeping the body healthy. It promotes vitamin D production, which is an essential vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Experts suggest 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure, 3-4 times per week. After your body has soaked up some UVs, you can apply your sun protection for the duration of your outdoor time.

Aside from applying a topical sunblock (we suggest a mineral-based, physical barrier sunblock over chemical sunscreen), there are other easy ways to protect yourself against UV damage. Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially during midday. Wear protective clothing, including a wide brim hat and lightweight long pants and sleeves.

While you are protecting your skin, don’t forget your eyes! UV rays can damage the eyes even without looking directly into the sun. Find sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays—not all sunglasses do. Wraparound styles are great for activities like boating or hiking, but you can find fashion sunglasses that protect your eyes as well.

One last word of warning: don’t turn to indoor tanning, thinking it’s safer than spending time in natural sunlight. Tanning booths still use UV rays to get a naturally tanned look. They are just as dangerous as sunbathing! If you crave a summer tan, look in to natural self-tanners that use safe, gentle ingredients. To get the most natural look, combine a small amount of self-tanner with ATOPALM Moisturizing Body Lotion to get a hint of color while protecting and caring for the skin with MLE.

Following sun safety can feel like a chore, but the rewards are endless. Keep your skin (and eyes) protected this summer for long-term health and beauty. Your body will thank you!

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