Fun in the Sun

Paradise

Image courtesy of TKrueger at flickr.com

The return of summer is a magical time. We shed layers of clothes and offer up bared skin to the sun’s rays. The sun can warm the skin and spirits in a healthy way as sunlight helps the body to make vitamin D, but practices should be followed to ensure that sun time is fun time.

The sun makes us smile, but it also produces UV rays that cause damage to the skin in the forms of sunburn, wrinkles and cancer. For sun safety, the American Cancer Society’s website mentions that “UV rays are most intense during the middle of the day, usually between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Plan activities out of the sun during these times. If you must be outdoors, protect your skin.”

There are a myriad of ways to protect your skin if you are outside during peak hours. Certain articles of clothing can offer some protection if you play in the sun. A hat can shade delicate facial skin from harsh sunlight. Sunglasses with UVA/UVB filters shield the eyes which are very sensitive to the sun’s rays. Shirts and pants offer some protection against UV rays, with long sleeves and long pants offering the most.

If your preferred activities involve showing some skin, then you should apply sunscreen. Proper application of sunscreen is necessary to reap its benefits, so apply a generous amount on dry skin 20 to 30 minutes before going outside so it can be absorbed. Don’t forget face, ears, hands, lips and any skin not covered by clothing. Also, remember to reapply at least every two hours and even more often if you are swimming or sweating.

In case you miss a spot with your sunscreen, here is a recipe that helps ease sunburn pain.
Sunburn Relief
2.5 ounces lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) hydrosol
1.5 ounces Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) hydrosol
10 drops lavender essential oil

I hope you have fun in the sun!