Why is sun protection important?
The importance of sun protection EVERY day:
Yes it is important to protect our skin from the sun when the days are long and hot during the summer months, but sun protection should be used every day, no matter the season. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays every day and though their strength may vary with the seasons their potential for damage does not.
There are two types of UV rays that can reach the Earth’s surface and cause damage to the skin.
UVA rays have a long wavelength and penetrate deeper into the skin causing premature aging and certain types of skin cancer.
UVB rays have a shorter wavelength that only penetrates the outer protective layer of the skin and is responsible for tanning, sunburns and most skin cancers.
It is important to protect your skin every day from both UVA and UVB rays. UV rays can penetrate through clouds, fog, and haze. They can also reflect off surfaces around you including water, concrete, and snow. Whether you are in the city, at the beach, in the mountains, really anywhere, your skin needs protection.
There are many ways to protect your skin from damaging UV rays:
- Wear sun protective clothing. Tightly woven, loose fitting, lightweight, dark or bright colours and lots of coverage means more protection; or look for an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating of 50+.
- Wear a minimum SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen on exposed areas and reapply as per the sunscreen application directions.
- Wear a hat (preferably wide brimmed) and sunglasses with UV protection.
- Seek shade between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. or anytime the UV index is 3 or higher.
The importance of getting outside:
Getting outside has many physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Get outside and have fun, just be sun safe.
Download a printable resources here.