Did You Know

Best Ways to Protect Yourself at the Beach from the Sun

One of the best things about summer is going to the beach with your family and friends. Nothing beats the feeling of being in the water on a hot sunny day. It is also fun to do water activities like kayaking and snorkeling. However, staying under the sun for too long, which most of us do when we spend our vacation on the beach, can cause us sunburn, dry skin and hair, and other serious skin and health conditions. But there are ways that we can do to protect ourselves from the sun’s heat.

If you’re planning to hit the beach soon, here are some of the best ways to protect yourself at the beach from the sun.

Wear Proper Clothes

Wearing the proper clothes is one of the best ways to be protected from the sun. There are many available beach and swimming outfits in stores, but how do we know the ones that will shield us for the heat of the sun?

  • UV Protected Clothes: It is better to choose clothes which are thick and dark colored because their materials contain a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF). But if you’d like to wear light colored clothes, you can wash them with a laundry detergent like Sun Guard which can give clothes UV protection.
  • Water Shoes: Wearing water shoes or sandals is also important because the sand on the beach becomes hot and may cause your feet to be sunburned when you walk around barefooted.
  • Hat: It is also essential to wear a hat because it can protect your hair and scalp from being dry. It also shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck, preventing them from being sunburned.
  • Sunglasses: Wearing a sunglass can protect your eyes from UV rays that causes cataracts. It’s best to choose those sunglasses that has 99% or 100% UVB and UVA protection. Aside from protecting your eyes, it can also protect the part around your eyes from the sun’s heat.

Choose the Best Sunscreen

Aside from wearing UV protected clothes, it is also important to apply sunscreen before going under the sun. There are many kinds of sunscreens available in the market and choosing the best one can be challenging. Here are some of the things you can check when choosing a sunscreen.

  • SPF Level: Most of the dermatologists suggest to choose a sunscreen which has an SPF level 30 or higher. The SPF level of the sunscreen indicates how long it can protect your skin. SPF 30 sunscreens can protect the skin for almost two hours, but it will still depend on how fast your skin gets sunburned.
  • UVA and UVB Coverage: Aside from SPF, you should also check if the sunscreen can protect you from UVA and UVB rays. You will know this if the sunscreen is labeled “Broad Spectrum”. Aside from sunburn protection, sunscreens with this label can also protect you from skin cancer and premature aging which can be caused by UVA ray.
  • Ingredients: It is also important to check the ingredients of the sunscreen you will be using. Some sunscreens contain unnecessary ingredients that may only increase your sensitivity to UV rays. Choose a sunscreen that is PABA-free. This chemical known as Para-aminobenzoic acid may cause allergies because it has a high toxicity level. It is also better to select a fragrance free sunscreen, because the fragrance is another added and unnecessary chemical.
  • Water Resistant: Since you will be spending time in the water at the beach, you should choose a sunscreen that is water resistant. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. There are two options for this. Water-resistant for 40 minutes and water-resistant for 80 minutes. It means that you need to reapply the sunscreen if you exceed those minutes in water.
  • Expiration Date: Of course, like buying foods, it is also important to check the expiration date of the sunscreen. Expired ones can cause more damage to your skin.
  • Application: Once you’ve chosen the best sunscreen for you, you should also know the proper way of using it. It does not end on just applying it before you go and enjoy under the sun. Sunscreens should be applied on the skin at least 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun. Apply a liberal amount to your skin and reapply it at least every hour or two.

Avoid Tanning

One way of letting people know that you had a great summer is by showing off your tan lines. But sun tanning is not healthy for the skin. It exposes you to intense UV radiation which may cause skin cancer and skin damage. Even if it’s indoor tanning, which some says is safer, it has the same effect as being sun tanned.  

Stay Hydrated

Always remember to drink water frequently when you’re spending time under the sun. Take sips even when you’re not thirsty. A cup of water every 20 minutes can help keep you hydrated under the sun. You should also avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks because these may cause you dehydration. If you’re drinking cold beer, remember to drink water twice as much alcohol you’ve taken.

Limit the Time Under the Sun

Though it’s really fun to do beach activities, excessive exposure to the sun’s heat is not good for you especially between 10am and 4pm. The sun’s rays are at their strongest in those times. You can stay under the shade and chill with your friends and family during those hours. You may bring a beach umbrella to keep you shaded. It is best to do your outdoor activities at the beach early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

The next time that you will be spending time at the beach, remember these ways to keep you well under the sun. Activities are more enjoyable when you know that you are safe and protected.