Sun Protection 101: Everything you need know

Woman tanning under the sun

Summer is here, bringing its sunny days. It’s full of joy, excitement, and a sense of adventure – there’s so much to do while it’s warm. It’s a great idea to spend time outside, whether on the beach, walking through parks and forests, or simply taking in the rays as you go along your day.

However, the sun isn’t just fun – it holds hidden dangers in the invisible UV light it emits. The rays can damage the skin, leading to sunburns. So, still have fun during the summer. Here are our top 4 tips for keeping yourself safe.

UV 101 – the What and How

Let’s talk about UV light and what effect it has on our body. Ultraviolet light is high-energy light that the sun emits. Broken up into three types, the rays differ by their energy and ability to enter the skin. UVB has more energy, but UVA reaches further into our skin. The bulk of the UV that we’re exposed to is UVA1.

When UV rays reach our skin, they set off a series of reactions which can cause damage in our cells and inflammation2. That’s when you get a burn; repeated damage over time leads to skin aging3. So, you need to prevent any damage by proper protection from the rays.

To do so, it’s vital to know when you’re likely to be exposed to the strongest rays. 10 am and 4 pm is peak time for solar activity, so plan your day accordingly4. You can also use an app to find out the UV Index to help you make decisions surrounding protection. If you’re out during those hours, look for shade or make your own with an umbrella.

A shoulder with skin pigmentation

Two boys under the beach umbrella

Your most important tool – sunscreen

You think it’s a new thing? Sunscreen’s been around since ancient Egypt! Granted, it looked different from what we have now – their sunblock was made of plants like jasmine and rice5. To help you choose and use sunscreen, here are our tips6:

  • Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen;
  • Choose SPF 30 and above;
  • Constant reapplying – every two hours, depending on the formula;
  • Check you’ve covered tricky spots like ears;
  • Use more than you think – one shot glass worth of sunblock for the body.

For those partaking in sports or swimming, check how long the sunblock will be water resistant for7.

Clouds also mean sunscreen, as they don’t block UV8. Also, keep in mind that where possible, you should limit how much time you’re exposed to the sun, even if your SPF is on.

Clothes matter

Clothes come in handy for helping you stay out of the sun. Choose long skirts and long sleeves, but feel free to use looser fabrics to stay cool. For those that want to go the extra mile, consider sun-protective clothing. Pay attention to your head and eyes – sunglasses and a hat are a must!

Eating for protection

Eating certain nutrients means protecting the skin. Combining the external methods of protection with a diet rich in these nutrients can go a long way to protect your skin. That’s because they help your body take care of the damage caused by UV9.

These nutrients include:

  • Carotenoids – beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene help our cells respond to damage10,11.
  • Flavonoids – these antioxidants can be found in a range of foods, from teas and coffee to grapes and citrus peel. They work in a variety of ways, helping our skin respond to UV rays12.
  • Vitamin C – helps our cells respond to damage13.
  • Vitamin E – protects our DNA14.
  • B vitamins – folate makes the skin less sensitive to UV15.
  • Selenium – it helps an enzyme work to protect cells from UV damage16.
  • Omega-3s – they help fight inflammation and help respond to UV17.

If you’re eating a varied diet, you’re likely getting plenty of these nutrients. If you’re looking for a boost, consider Maxler’s variety of options, including Selenium, Folic Acid Bioactive Folate. If you’re looking for complex support, you can also try Daily Max Men and Daily Max Women, which provide plenty of vitamins C, E, B, selenium, and even lycopene for men.

For a refreshing way of getting these nutrients, our Effervescent lines, which include Daily Max and B-complex will provide you with the vitamins that help you stay safe.

As you head out to enjoy the sunny days, take care to minimize your risk of burns by using the tips in our post. Adding on sun-friendly nutrition will for sure help you protect yourself while enjoying your summer activities. Remember that a healthy skin is a part of a healthy body, so don’t neglect it!

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