As summer starts to heat up, you may be excited for all that comes along with it: barbeques, outdoor sports and time at the pool or beach. These quintessential summertime activities are some of the most fun parts of the season, but all that time outside can lead to significant exposure to the sun’s harmful rays.

You’ve heard it before; UV light can cause long-term and potentially life-threatening damage to your skin. With one in five Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime, it is the most common form of cancer in the United States – Yikes!

We realize that asking you to hide out inside for the summer is just unreasonable (after all, with our own headquarters in Arizona, it’s clear we love the sun!) So instead we recommend that you follow the sun safety tips we outlined below and enjoy the sun safely this summer!

Sun Safety Tips

Apply Sunscreen of at least 30 SPF half an hour before sun exposure and reapply every few hours, or after swimming, sweating or toweling off. This is a great defense against not only painful sunburn and future wrinkles, but also potentially lethal skin cancer. Make sure that your sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, and contain ingredients like: zinc, titanium dioxide or avobenzone or Mexoryl SX. Avoid sunscreens that break down in the sun or contain hormone-disrupting compounds including formulas with oxybenzone, vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) or added insect repellant.

Wear Sunglasses with total UV protection. Your eyes need just as much sun protection as your skin; a sunburn on your eyes is incredibly painful and UV radiation can cause future cataracts.

Be Sun Chic! Get a wide-brimmed hat to keep rays off your face, and use cosmetic products and contact lenses with built-in UV protection.

Seek Shade whenever possible. Keep cool and out of the sun as often as your activities allow, especially during peak exposure hours of 10am to 3pm where the sun’s rays are most intense.

Mind Your Surroundings; sand, water and concrete can reflect the sun’s damaging rays and increase your chance of sunburn. If you’re hanging by the pool or on the beach, reapply sunscreen more often and consider finding or making some shade.

Avoid tanning beds. You get more than enough rays (and damage) with natural sunlight; don’t subject your skin to more direct and harmful exposure. If you must have that bronze glow, consider spray-on tans or various self-tanners. A “healthy” tan is an oxymoron and may look attractive now, but damaged, wrinkled and leathery skin certainly won’t later.

Perform Skin Self-Exams regularly to become familiar with any growths you currently have and track any changes or new growths. If any of the growths are asymmetric, larger than a pencil eraser, have uneven borders, or have a variety of colors within the growth, have a dermatologist check them for skin cancer.

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