How To Protect Yourself From Harmful UV Rays

Last Updated on June 2, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Although the sun is a wonderful thing and it makes life happen here on earth, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks involved. Along with warm sunshine, the sun emits harmful UV rays which can damage our bodies and skin.

UV rays exist in two forms including UVA and UVB and both are harmful. Although UVB rays are more aggressive, both forms can cause skin damage and skin cancer.

UV rays also age the skin and can cause agitation and breakouts. Although getting your daily dose of vitamin D is important, it’s good to limit your exposure to the sun, to stay on the safe side.

Here’s a list of the most common and most effective ways to stay out of the sun and stay protected. Follow these tips and tricks and protect your skin for a happier, healthier, and longer life.

Limit exposure to the sun

The easiest way to limit sun damage is to avoid going in direct sunlight. There are plenty of ways to do this from avoiding going out in daylight to staying in the shade, to wearing protection.

Hats are a great way to protect your face and the sensitive skin on your head that isn’t protected by hair. The bigger the hat the better, when it comes to protecting yourself from the sun. 

If you can’t avoid going into direct sunlight all the time, it’s important to avoid going out when the sun is strongest. If you can, try to stay indoors or in solid shade during the middle hours of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. A little goes a long way, so try where you can to avoid the sun.

Invest in solar screens

Even if you spend all of your time indoors, you’re still not entirely protected from the sun’s harmful rays. UV rays can still make their way into your home through open windows, doors, and cracks in your home.

While keeping things closed and blocked up is a good solution, it does leave your home stuffy and dark. A better solution is to use solar screens on your doors and windows that allow for airflow and light, without the harmful UV rays. Deck your home with solar screens to have more privacy and protect yourself from the sun.

Always wear sunscreen

If you have to go outside, the first rule of sun safety is to always wear sunscreen. Sunscreen acts as a barrier between you and the sun and can help lessen the effect of harmful UV rays. Sunscreens contain compounds and minerals that absorb the sun’s rays instead of your skin. In this way, they protect your skin from damage and agitation.

Since there are many types of sunscreens on the market, you need to learn to read the labels carefully and apply each type according to the packaging. Once applied, the effects of sunscreen don’t last forever, so you’ll need to remember to reapply over time. Sunscreen is a must if you’re going outside, so make sure to invest in a good one.

Use clothing to shield yourself

If sunscreen is not in the cards for you, the next best thing is to use clothing to shield yourself. In countries where the sun is hot, you’ll often see locals covering their skin for reasons other than modesty. A thin layer of clothing between your skin and direct sunlight makes a huge difference against sun damage.

Go for light, airy materials with a UPF rating of 50 or over for the best results. Go for light long sleeve undershirts and pants under your clothes to cover your skin. If you get too hot, invest in some arm or leg coverings to protect your exposed skin in the hotter seasons.

Avoid excessive tanning

Although everybody loves a nice summer tan, it’s important to remember not to go overboard with it. The common misconception is that tanning beds are less harmful than the sun, which is simply not true.

Tanning beds emit the same UVB and UVA rays as the sun and have been linked to causing melanoma. The same can be said for UV gel lamps, although they pose a smaller threat. If you can help it, avoid tanning entirely, if not, try to limit or steer clear of tanning beds to protect your skin.

Wear sunglasses that block UV rays

When talking about sun damage from UV rays, it’s important not to forget about your eyes. The second most common target for sun damage besides the skin is your eyes. Prolonged exposure to the sun can damage your eyesight, cause certain eye diseases, and cause wrinkles around the eyes. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses when going outside.

Since there is a wide spectrum of sunglass quality, it’s important to know what’s good and what’s not to protect your eyes. The general rule is that low-quality sunglasses are usually cheap whereas the better quality ones are more expensive. The ideal sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UVB and UVA rays.

Be responsible

At the end of the day, being responsible in direct sunlight is what’s going to protect you the most against the sun. If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors in direct sunlight, make sure to come prepared.

Bring plenty of sunscreen and protection to stave off the long-lasting effects of sun damage and remember to stay hydrated. Even if the clouds are out, put on sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses. Sun safety starts with you, so remember to be responsible.

sunscreen on the beach

So there you have it! Now that you’re all caught up on the top tips to protect yourself, you’re ready to brave the sun the right way. The best way to avoid the harmful effects of UV rays is to limit and avoid exposure to the sun. Fortify your home with solar screens to stay comfortable and protected, even indoors. When outside, always wear sunscreen and remember to read the labels carefully and reapply often.

Try to protect your exposed skin with UV protective clothing and coverings to stay safe when outside. If you can, avoid excessive tanning as tanning beds offer the same damage as the sun does. Last but not least, invest in a good pair of UV protective sunglasses to avoid damage to your eyesight and skin. Keep these tips in mind and remember to always be responsible in direct sunlight!