Most of us love the outdoors and like getting a nice bronzed tan. However, the sun also emits Ultraviolet rays that are very harmful to skin. Besides the sun’s UV rays causing changes in skin color, texture, and premature aging, there is always the risk of skin cancers. For many years now, health care professionals have been warning patients about the harmful effects of sun’s rays. Taking preventive steps to protect the skin is essential if one wants to look young, wrinkle-free and have a reduced risk of developing skin cancers. Some of the preventive steps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of sun include the following:

1. Avoid the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. During this period, the sun’s rays are intense and most harmful. One can easily develop sunburn and incur damage to the skin during these hours. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays do emit U rays that can harm skin.

2. Irrespective of skin color or texture, sun’s rays are harmful to all individuals. There is a mythological belief that individuals with dark skin are protected from the sun- this is a false belief. Sun’s rays affect all individuals.

3. One of the best ways to protect skin from the sun’s rays is to wear a decent sunscreen. Sunscreen with a SPF of at least 20 or greater is vital even on cloudy days. The sunscreen shuld be applied 15 minutes prior to going out and should be repeated every few hours. There are both water and oil based sunscreens available. Both function similarly and can be used all year round. If one goes swimming, the sunscreen should be reapplied every 20-30 minutes.

4. To protect the face, one should wear a wide brim hat. One should also wear long sleeved garments to prevent the harmful effects of sun on the shoulders and arms. Today, there are some fabrics that have the ability to reflect back the sun’s rays.

5. Sunglasses and an umbrella can also protect against sun’s rays.

6. Always carry ample water when going out in the sun. Water is essential to prevent dehydration.

7. The rays of sun can also cause intense skin dryness and itching. Thus, it is important to apply a moisturizer frequently. There are hundreds of moisturizers on the market. Baby oil is as good as any. With proper awareness and protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun , one can keep the skin looking young, soft, and beautiful