Who needs a Summer UV Safety Guide?
Maybe you’ve never been prone to sunburns or any kind of sun sensitivity. Maybe you’re not fair-skinned at all. But as it goes with so much of life, things change as we get older. Regardless of how well your skin ‘held up’ to sun exposure in the past, it’s undoubtedly more sensitive now.
That means you might need to re-think your sun protection routine as you get older.
No matter how well or badly your skin took to soaking up the rays in your past, things are probably different now. Alongside the visible signs of aging come hidden changes that increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.
These changes are often overlooked or unknown by seniors who gleefully spend hours in the sun, as they always have. Unfortunately, now that you’re older, a full morning of outdoor activity can result in painful and annoying burns.
Here’s Your Summer UV Safety Guide for 2017
We want you to avoid that fate. To help you prepare for Summer, here are five ways to protect yourself from the UV rays of the sun. If you don’t have the proper attire, now’s the time to gear up.
As sure as your shoulders can get burned, your scalp is prone to the harmful effects of the sun as well. That’s a word of warning for everyone, but especially for seniors, whose hair may be thinning.
Straw hats are nice, but be careful of hats where the weave of the straw is too loose. The holes can let in too much sun.
Choose a hat with a wide brim so your face is protected, too. Baseball caps cover only the front of your face so choose a hat whose brim covers you in 360 degrees. That way, your neck, ears, and even part of your shoulders get some shade.
If you’ve ever studied the options in the sunscreen aisle at the local drugstore, you know there’s no lack of variety. In fact, it sometimes seems there are too many options. Here’s all you need to know:
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
- Go with at least 15 SPF, even on cloudy days. Higher on sunny days.
- Apply a thick layer.
- Reapply after two hours or after swimming or sweating.
- For natural protection, choose a sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which reflect UV rays.
- Protective Clothing
Long-sleeved shirts are good if you’re spending lots of time outdoors in the Summer. You may even want to consider loose-fitting long pants or a skirt. Some clothing even comes with SPF woven in to the fabric.
Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned? Just the thought of that should be enough to keep you from forgetting your sunglasses ever again. According to the CDC, sunglasses reduce the risk of cataracts, too.
Buying the right pair is a little tricky. Make sure the lenses block both kinds of UV rays. Look for “UVA” and “UVB” protection on the label.
- Lip Protection
Protecting the lips is probably the most overlooked part of everyone’s summer regimen. We certainly don’t apply SPF to our lips, but we should. That’s where SPF lip balm comes in.
Sun-blocking lip balm is less irritating than the sunblock that’s made for your skin. Get a balm that offers an SPF of 30 or higher, says a dermatologist from WebMD.
Recap: Get Outside This Summer but Don’t Forget About the Sun!
Don’t let all this talk about UV rays scare you from getting outdoors this Summer. Here at Five Star Senior Living, we promote physical well-being in all its forms, including getting outside as often as possible and enjoying nature. With the proper sun protection, our residents enjoy fitness walking, Bocce Ball, and other outdoor activities whenever they get the chance. It’s all part of our Lifestyle360 program. Call us to learn more!