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How much UV exposure am I getting from that beach Trip & What can I do to protect my skin?

Your geographic location. UV rays are strongest near the equator and diminish as you go toward the poles.

Time of Day. The UV exposure is greatest during the sun's most intense period which, in most climates, is between 11 am and 3 PM.

Season of the Year. The summer months are not only when the sun and resultant UV rays are most intense but it is during this warmer period that you typically have more exposed skin due to lighter clothing.

Altitude. UV rays are present in much greater amounts at higher altitudes than at lower ones due to thinner, cleaner air. At altitude, the cooler air sometimes makes us forget we are getting high levels of UV exposure.

Total Time in the Sun. Remember all of the time spent in the sun, including the many small exposures each day, add to the total time in the sun.

Your environment. The surfaces around you can and do add to the direct sunlight and UV rays that you receive when outside. The surfaces you are on reflect the UV rays back to you in varying amounts but must be considered when thinking of your total exposure time. It may be useful to consider that clean snow reflects upwards of 80% of the rays that strike it, while sand and concrete reflect approximately 10-15%.

Cloud Cover. It is important to understand that UV rays, just like the rest of the sun's rays, pass through clouds and reach the Earth. Like the visible rays, the UV rays are filtered by the thickness and darkness of the cloud cover but there are still some that come through. A light cloud cover may make us feel cooler and therefore less concerned about the sun's rays but be aware that the UV's are still coming through at almost full strength. 

Wear a hat and protective clothing during peak sun times to lessen exposure.

Remember to give children extra protection since their skin is usually more sensitive than their parents'.

Apply your sunscreen evenly and totally, remembering to reapply after swimming or perspiring.

Avoid being out between 10a.m to 4p.m. Wear protective, tightly-woven clothing such as long-sleeved shirt and pants, hats and umbrellas for as additional shield.

Wear good quality UV screening sunglasses. Sunglasses are not just to make you more comfortable but will help prevent cataracts and other eye problems which can be caused by UV exposure.

 

Skin tip of the day

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn't clear but research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in fats and carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin.

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