How do I protect myself from UV rays?

You don’t have to avoid the sun completely.

physical activity is important for good health.
Some people think about sun protection only when they spend a day at the lake,
beach, or pool. Sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time you are in the

Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure.

  • Slip on a shirt.
  • Slop on sunscreen.
  • Slap on a hat.
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin around them.

Seek shade

limit your exposure to UV light is to avoid being outdoors in direct sunlight too
long. This is particularly important between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when
shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the
strongest, and it’s important to protect yourself.

UV rays reach the ground all year, even on hazy days, but the strength of UV
rays can change based on the time of year and other factors.
Some UV rays can also pass through windows. Typical car, home, and office
windows block most UVB rays but a smaller portion of UVA rays, so even if you
don’t feel you’re getting burned your skin may still get some damage. Tinted
windows help block more UVA rays, but this depends on the type of tinting. UV
radiation that comes through windows probably doesn’t pose a great risk to most
people unless they spend long periods of time close to a window that receives
direct sunlight.

If you plan to be outdoors, you may want to check the UV Index for your area.
The UV Index usually can be found in local newspaper, TV, radio, and online
forecasts. It’s also on the EPA’s website at
and in many smartphone apps.

Protect your skin with clothing

Clothes provide different levels of UV protection. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants,
or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. Dark colors
generally provide more protection than light colors.

Newer products, which are used in the washing machine like laundry detergents,
can increase the UPF value of clothes you already own. They add a layer of UV
protection to your clothes without changing the color or texture.

American Cancer Society
ntionandearlydetection/skin-cancer- prevention-and- early-detection- u-v- protection

Use sunscreen

Important to know that sunscreen is just a filter – it does not block all UV rays.
Sunscreen should not be used as a way to prolong your time in the sun.
Even with proper sunscreen use, some rays get through, which is why using
other forms of sun protection is also important.
Sunscreens are available in many forms – lotions, creams, ointments, gels,
sprays, wipes, and lip balms, to name a few.


Read the labels
When choosing a sunscreen product, be sure to read the label. Sunscreens with
broad spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB rays) and with sun
protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher are recommended.

Sun protection factor (SPF): The SPF number is the level of protection the
sunscreen provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. A
higher SPF number means more UVB protection
When applying an SPF 30 sunscreen correctly, you get the
equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you
spend in the sun. So, 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30
sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally
unprotected. People often do not apply enough sunscreen, so the actual
protection they get is less.

Sunscreens with an SPF lower than 15 must now include a warning stating that
the product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or
early skin aging.

Broad spectrum sunscreen: Sunscreen products can only be labeled “broad
spectrum” if they have been tested and shown to protect against both UVA and
UVB rays. Some of the chemicals in sunscreens that help protect against UVA
rays include avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule, zinc oxide, and titanium

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