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  • Dr. Brittany Long

Sun safety now that it's finally summer!

It seems the sun is finally here in Oregon! And with the blue skies, cloudless (or at least less cloudy skies), longer days, higher temperatures and lots and lots of sun there also comes the risk of sunburns – especially since most of us haven’t seen this much sun in months! A common question I often get is, “which sunscreen is the safest to use?” While sunscreen can be one of many tools to utilize to help keep your skin healthy and to prevent damaging sunburns, ideally I focus on prevention so that applying sunscreen is a secondary tool and not the primary tool. That being said, here are my top tips to avoid sunburns but still be able to enjoy this glorious weather!


 

1. Cover up your skin!


There are many ways to get some light coverage and protect your skin from the sun. Hats, light-colored long sleeves with high breathability, and quick-dry capacity are a must so that you don't get too sweaty! There are also many types of clothing now that have UVA and UVB protection in the material but honestly, as long as you've got something over your skin you're getting some protection.


 

2. Seek or make shade!


If wearing long sleeves and potentially long pants and a hat all sound too heat-inducing, consider making or finding shade to enjoy your outdoor time in – umbrellas, trees or even shade sails are easy and sustainable solutions to provide you with some shade!

 

3. Don’t forget about your eyes!


When you are going to be outdoors be sure to provide your eyes with protection as well! Be sure to purchase a pair of sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection.



 

4. Avoid peak “burning hours!”


This means planning to get out a little earlier or later in the day to be outside – you can also check the UV index to see when it is highest (and has the potential to cause damage to your skin) before going out and adjust accordingly: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1


 

5. Avoid getting burned!

This may seem like a no-brainer but with those higher SPF sunscreens, we may be tempted to stay out longer or not reapply as often AND they might not even give us the protection we need. Aside from using the above tips to avoid getting burned, sunscreen can be a useful tool, but new research is showing not all sunscreen is created equal. Check back in next week for tips on how to pick the safest and most effective sunscreen!

*DISCLAIMER: This document is not intended to treat or diagnose disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols be sure to consult with a licensed physician. The author has nothing to disclose in regards to supplements or products mentioned within this document and the author does not receive any monetary or other incentive to mention the recommended supplements or products.

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