Warm summer weather is upon us. Venturing outside for long hours, and for various reasons is bound to occur. There is fun and enjoyment to be had, and work to be done. As we get ready to launch ourselves out the door, we need to remember that the sun is not always our friend. Along with the fun, the sun brings dreaded sunburns, cancer, and early aging. Therefore, remembering to protect yourself from the sun's rays is crucial.


Every day we are bombarded by UV rays A and B. So, what are these rays, and what is the difference between UVA and UVB? Both UV rays come from the sun, as well as tanning beds and other artificial means. These rays cause damage as they are a form of electromagnetic radiation. UVA rays will penetrate deep into your skin. These are the ones that lead to the premature aging,

causing wrinkles and those pesky fine lines. They cause indirect damage to your DNA and cause some skin cancers. Approximately, 95% of the rays that reach the Earth's ground are UVA, and they will penetrate clouds and windows. UVB rays on the other hand, have higher energy levels, but shorter wavelengths. Only about 5% of these UVB rays will reach the ground. Our ozone layer absorbs most of these rays. However, UVB rays do cause direct damage to one's DNA, causing most skin cancers, and damaging the outer layers of the skin causing burns. `

So, what are some different ways to protect yourself from the sun's rays? The first answer is obvious. Don't ever go outside and stay indoors for the rest of your life. Okay, that one is not practical. You don't need to stay indoors forever, yet in all honesty, if you can manage to stay indoors during peak hours that is the best. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible. It is important to know though, that the sun's ultraviolet rays are at their peak between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Try to avoid going outside during these times if possible.


Sunscreen is a go to for many. Yet, people don't seem to realize there is more that goes into wearing sunscreen than just slathering it on. In fact, people or at least the ones I know, tend to look at the SPF number, then go about applying their sunscreen, rubbing it in, and forgetting about it.


The problem is, unfortunately a lot of people apply sunscreen inappropriately, or inadequately. For sunscreen to give you the best results, it should be applied approximately 30 minutes before you go out into the sun and applied thickly. Many people tend to rub in only a thin amount and miss spots, leaving them not fully protected. If you have an SPF 30+ and apply it incorrectly, you will not get the full SPF 30+ protection, rather your protection will be greatly reduced. It also needs to be applied all over. Unfortunately, there are certain areas people tend to avoid. Unless you are bald, most people are not going to put sunscreen in their hair. However, your s