We all know that too much sun on the skin is damaging, but we also need and want to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. How can sunshine and skincare work together to benefit health and well-being? Health experts tell us we must use an effective sunblock on our skin, plus avoid the harsh mid-day sunshine. This sounds so basic, but many people still don’t take these easy actions seriously. Really, these simple, but crucial, steps to take can go a long way in protecting us from skin cancer while still allowing us to spend happy, many sunny days outdoors.

How To Apply

Too many people don’t apply sunscreen as effectively as they should. For example, they may miss important areas like the backs of the arms when they apply sunblock, or use a sunscreen product with too low of a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) or simply not apply the product as often as they should. If you’re sweating and swimming in the sun, sunscreen should be applied much more frequently as the moisture will reduce the protection the product offers.

A sunblock with an SPF of 30 should be able to protect from the burning effects of the sun’s rays for 30 times more than they would without having the product on. So, if a person with very fair skin can begin to get a sunburn in 2 minutes, that would mean an SPF 30 sunblock would only last an hour. It would be significantly less time if the person perspires or goes into the water. For the best sunshine and skincare protection efforts, it’s always best to apply a good sunblock even more frequently than the “math” tells us.

The Middle

The middle of the day is typically the worst time to be out in the sunshine whether you’re relaxing on the beach, playing tennis, walking or just sitting outdoors. Between about 10 am to 3 pm in many areas, the sun is at its highest and brightest which means that the intensity of it can cause sunburn to the skin much more easily. Health experts have wisely been advising people for years to avoid being in the sun during this time. But, this need not be as limiting as it may first sound.

Being outdoors in the shade is completely fine in the mid-day hours, so it’s not like we have to be indoors most of the day unless that is our preferred or required routine. The whole idea of sunshine and skincare protection in terms of when we’re safest in the sun — and that is always with wearing an appropriate SPF sunscreen applied frequently enough — is to plan our activities accordingly. For example, lunch outdoors on a very shady patio would be completely fine at noon, but not on a sunny beach at that time. We can plan for outdoor exercise either early morning or late afternoon, or also, of course, have the option of using an indoor gym or swimming pool too.