Summer is the season for fun in the sun! While we love to play and relax in the summer sunshine it is becoming more and more important to protect ourselves from the potentially harmful rays from the sun. Moderate sun exposure and a gentle tan can actually be healthy... but we need to be wise in how we acquire the colour.
Sunshine tips to remember this season:
- avoid direct sunshine in excess of 10minutes between 11am and 3pm, unless well protected
- allow your skin to be exposed to sunlight for 20minutes most days; ~8am and after 6pm are gentle exposure times but still adequate for vitamin D synthesis, in many climates
- being near the water leads to sunlight being reflected; sitting on a dock, by poolside or on a boat and feeling protected by an umbrella may lead to a false sense of security... you can still burn if your skin is not protected (especially fair-skinned individuals).
- lightweight, breathable clothing fabrics are a terrific way of keeping your skin shaded while avoiding the need for strong sunscreens. Look for natural fibres (pure cotton, hemp, linen, etc.) and light colours. Wear a hat.
- the lower the SPF of a sunscreen the fewer chemicals tend to be needed in the formulation; ideally use a low SPF (ie. 10-15) while out in the sun and reapply it frequently if sweating, swimming or outside for prolonged periods. Don’t forget your ears!
- hydrate yourself well; you lose a great deal of water and electrolytes each day in the summer. Water is often not enough when you have been perspiring in the summer heat... mix 1part 100% fruit juice with 4- 5parts water in your bottle when playing outside.
- have fun!