Skin Cancer Awareness Month takes place every May. As summer is approaching, it’s so important to think about sun safety tips. I always try to stay safe in the sun, but more so now since my experience with skin cancer. With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is America’s most common cancer.
Today I’m sharing a few tips on how to stay safe in the sun. Truthfully, there are days I want to hide inside from the sun’s rays for fear I’ll develop a new skin cancer spot. However I know I cannot live a life indoors and that there are ways to stay safe in the sun.
How to Stay Safe in the Sun
- Check the UV index. UV Radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer, premature aging, skin damage, and eye damage. You can check your location’s UV index here, which provides a forecast of the expected risk of overexposure to UV radiation from the sun.
- Use high quality sunscreen. To reduce the risk of skin cancer, skin damage, and sunburn – wear sunscreen everyday! Make sure to use good quality sunscreen with UVA on the label and SPF30 or higher. My favorites are EltaMD for face, Sun Bum for body spray, and SuperGoop! for overall coverage. Apply 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
- Wear sun protective clothing. It’s crazy to think that clothing is one of the most effective forms of protection against sun damage and skin cancer. A fabric must have a UPF of 30 to qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. A UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ rates as excellent. There are so many options for sun protective bathing suits for the family and clothing items for all occasions – we love COOLIBAR (items in the photos)!
- Protect your lips and eyes from the sun. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. Wear your sunglasses and a wide brim hat when outdoors. The sun can cause eyelid skin cancer and other serious eye conditions (such as cataracts). I also like to wear lip gloss with SPF 40 on a daily basis.
- Don’t forget: The sun shines through the clouds. It’s important to protect your skin on a cloudy day since 80% of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds. If you’re going to be outside on a cloudy day, throw on some sun protective clothing and a little sunscreen!
Sun Safe UPF 50+ Clothing for the Whole Family
I love how many options are available for sun protective clothing and swimwear. Coolibar sent our family a few items to try out – and each piece is comfortable, cute, and sun safe! See the pieces we are wearing below.
Wondering how to stay safe in the sun? Use high quality sunscreen, sun protective clothing and accessories, and be aware of the UV Index.
Safety Tips for Babies and Kids in the Sun:
SUN SAFETY FOR BABIES: Infants under 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Avoid using sunscreen on infants under 6 months. Dress babies in lightweight sun protective clothing and a hat. Always keep babies under an umbrella if outdoors.
Sunscreen Application Tip: Use a makeup sponge to apply sunscreen to your little ones. It’s much easier and quicker to spread!
My Favorite Sunscreens for Kids: SuperGoop!, Sun Bum, and Pipette