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How to protect your skin when you're in the sun all day

Sunscreen isn't just for summer! High intensity ultraviolet radiation combined with cooler air temperatures in the fall months can just as likely predispose you to sunburns, especially if you're not prepared. Many people are not generally thinking sunscreen when it's 50 degrees and sunny and they're wearing a hoodie or windbreaker.

We've created this list of helpful tips on what you need to know to stay safe when you'll be in the sun in the fall months. With a few minor modifications to your routine, you'll be able to enjoy your time outside without having to worry about getting burnt.

Protecting Your Skin from Sunburn

Your risk for melanoma, which is the most serious form of skin cancer, doubles after five or more sunburns according to statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation. The easiest way to limit your risk is by covering up your skin.

Although you might think a baseball cap is enough to protect your head and face when you're outside, it still leaves your ears and neck exposed to the sun. For greater coverage, consider a hat with a wide 4" brim.

Wearing tightly woven, loose fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants will keep your arms and legs from getting unnecessary sun. A number of clothing manufacturers are also offering products designed specifically to block UVA and UVB, providing another layer of protection to help prevent sunburn and skin damage.

UV radiation from the sun can also damage the skin around your eyes including your eyelids as well as other parts of your eye. To protect yourself and your vision, consider wearing sunglasses that block up to 99% of UVA and UVB radiation.

With all other exposed skin, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of 15 or higher 15-30 minutes before going outside to allow time to dry. Reapply to dry skin at least every two hours and be sure to use a water resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating. Finally, consider using lipstick sunscreens or lip balms with an SPF greater than 15.

Planning Outdoor Activities

Always try to schedule your outdoor activities to limit your exposure between 10am and 2pm which is when the sun's rays are at their strongest and can cause the most damage. When that's not possible, seek shade under a tree, umbrella, or overhang for added protection.

Also keep in mind water, sand, and other reflective surfaces can actually magnify the intensity of your sun exposure and increase the likelihood that you'll get a sunburn. That means you'll want to carefully monitor how much time you spend on the beach—especially during those peak hours of midday sun.

Summer Sunburn Prevention Recap

Don't let the sun keep you from enjoying your time outside. Avoid sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer by wearing loose fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs, applying the right broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and seeking shade between 10 AM – 2 PM when the sun's rays are the most damaging.