We all like some fun outside in the sunshine now and then, but excessive exposure to sunlight can actually have detrimental health effects. While the sunshine can provide you with things that you need such as vitamin D and promote the release of happy hormones such as serotonin, but prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause bad skin, skin diseases, and even skin cancer. If you want to know ways that you can protect yourself from harmful UV radiation and still enjoy your time outside, then here are 5 IDEAL tips to help you stay safe in the sun this summer. 

LEARN ABOUT SKIN CANCER

An important aspect of lowering the risk of skin cancer is educating yourself on what skin cancer actually is. Skin cancer comes in many different forms that vary on levels of severity. Although skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, there is still no known effective way to cure it completely. Skin cancer develops when skin cells become mutated and duplicated rapidly. The growth of cancer cells is uninhibited because they lack a mechanism in their structure that stops reproduction after so many cells already exist, hence why cancer spreads so far.

UNDERSTAND UV 

Ultraviolet radiation is a type of radiation that is emitted in rays from certain sources of light. The sun provides us with UV radiation which can be healthy in small doses and promote healthy skin, but prolonged exposure can be exceptionally harmful. Tanning and heating lamps also emit UV rays, so avoiding these kinds of sources of UV rays in excess is a good way to avoid developing skin cancer.

AVOID UV RAYS

Now you know what UV rays are, you  know that in order to minimize your risk of developing skin cancer, you should limit your exposure to UV rays. The sun is at its highest and hottest between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Avoiding prolonged exposure during this period of time will greatly reduce your risk. UV rays can actually be reflected off of surfaces like water or snow, so you should be wary in the cold months as well as summer and spring.

STAY IN THE SHADE

You should try to stay in the shade as much as possible if you absolutely have to be outside for a long period of time. This shields you from a large amount of UV radiation being emitted by the sun. You can invest in products like custom umbrellas that can protect you from the sun even when you’re moving from place to place throughout the day.

WEAR PROTECTION

If the shade isn’t an option for you, or you’re in a situation where shade isn’t available like road construction work or landscaping, you should think about providing yourself with some protection. Always use sunscreen when you can. High SPF will protect you from the highest amount of UV rays. Wear white clothes, and if you’re swimming, keep your shirt on to help block some sun rays while you’re out there.

Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is the first step to protecting yourself from skin cancer and other afflictions caused by excessive exposure to the sun.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.