Sun protection is important, but so is enjoying the warmth of summer. Here’s how to embrace both.
A positive summer means time spent outdoors, and time spent outdoors means the golden glow of sun warming your skin.
The sun is a double-edged force of nature, though. In addition to being the ultimate metaphor for brightness and joy, it is also a dangerous source of UV rays that can cause skin conditions including cancer.
Enjoying the sun while also staying safe is an opportunity to practice living with authentic positivity—not letting our pursuit of happiness come with a heavy cost, but holding fast to the pursuit in healthy, reasonable ways.
Here are three easy ways to—safely—make the most of the summer sun.
1) Make Sunscreen Routine
If you make sunscreen application part of your get-ready-to-go-out routine, or better yet, part of your get-dressed-in-the-morning routine, you won’t find yourself rushing to slather on sun protection while others are waiting for you to join the fun. Having a thorough base layer of sunscreen on means you only need to reapply throughout the day, rather than risking a burn from the get-go.
2) Seek Shelter
Being in the shade isn’t anathema to the summer outdoor experience. In fact, under a tree or umbrella is a perfectly beautiful place to be. When you are going to be somewhere for a long time, like a pool or lake, try to set up your towel and snacks in a shady spot so you can retreat from the glare of the direct sun while still enjoying your summer day. A broad-brimmed hat is another way to shade yourself.
3) Get Yourself Checked Out
An annual visit to a dermatologist is a must-do to protect your health and learn the warning signs of potentially dangerous skin changes. Even if there is no history of skin cancer in your family, a professional eye on your skin is an investment in a healthy future. I like to schedule my annual check for the end of the summer, so I can bring up any changes I have noticed with my doctor. The beginning of the sunny season is another good time to schedule a check, particularly if you are new to this aspect of health care—your doctor can give you good advice about how, and how often, to apply sunscreen.