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Sun protection

Updated on November 26, 2012

Sun Protection

We all need daylight; small amounts of UV are beneficial for people and essential in the production of vitamin D, necessary for calcium balance. Sun exposure also kills certain germs and boosts our mood. In fact, people who lack daylight can develop SAD –Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a form of depression caused by the lack of sunlight during winter. UV radiation is also used to treat several diseases, including rickets, psoriasis, eczema and jaundice. Unfortunately, overexposure to the sun rays damages the skin irreparably and prolonged exposure to solar UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on the skin, eye and immune system.

Overexposure to the sun (without appropriate sun protection) :

  • Causes sunburn and tissue destruction.
  • Causes people sensitive to ultraviolet light to react with redness, rashes and itching just after a brief exposure to sunlight.
  • Increases the risk of skin cancer
  • Damages the skin collagen resulting in premature aging of the skin.

Sun Creams Explained

Sun creams containing titanium reflect or block ultraviolet light. The degree of protection is expressed as a factor number. For example a Factor 6 sun cream means that you can be exposed for 6 times longer than the length of time in which unprotected skin would burn.

In extreme sunlight, you really need a Factor 25 or higher depending on your skin type.

Ordinary sunscreens protect against medium wavelength ultraviolet light, known as ultraviolet B, which is the one that causes sunburn. Unfortunately, they don’t protect against longer wavelength ultraviolet light, known as ultraviolet A, which is the culprit for long term skin aging and cancer. For complete protection you should use both a UVB and UVA sunscreen or cover up with sun protection clothing.

UV Rays and their effects on the skin

Sun protection clothing

Rash Guard Swim Shirt | Beach Depot Women's Long Sleeve UPF 50+ | Made in USA
Rash Guard Swim Shirt | Beach Depot Women's Long Sleeve UPF 50+ | Made in USA

SPF 150+ Women's Long Sleeve shirt provides total UV sun protection and maximum comfort in or out of the water. The UPF rating of 50+ (SPF 150+ equivalent) shields your upper body from harmful rays.


Moisturizer Sunscreens

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 15
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 15

Multitasking lotion is a moisturizer, sunscreen and a toner. Tinted shades match every complexion.



  • Know your skin type and protect yourself accordingly.
  • Cover up with sun hats and sunscreen protection both UVB and UVA.

  • Try to apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply soon after to ensure that you get even coverage. Think of it as painting a wall – the first coat fills in any rough bits and the second gives an even layer
  • Let your skin get used to the sunshine progressively. Take it slow for the first few days of exposure.

  • Use sun protection products as part of your daily beauty routine. You can find everyday use moisturizers and tinted moisturizers with a high content of sun protection.
  • Avoid direct exposure during the midday sun.
  • Remember to re-apply sunscreen when exercising or playing sports in the sun.

  • Stay away from surfaces that reflect sunlight back at you like water, snow and sand - or else increase your sun protection.
  • Encourage your children to enjoy being outdoors but protect them with sun protection clothing and a good sunscreen lotion appropriate for their age and skin type.

  • Watch your skin and report any unusual changes to your doctor.
  • Choose sunglasses with a a UV 400 label or a a statement that the sunglasses offer 100% UV protection

SunSmart...Quiz on Sun protection

Examine Your Skin

Sun Protection DON'Ts:


  • Swim at midday thinking that water protects you from sunburn… it doesn’t.
  • Forget to re apply your sunscreen lotion or sunscreen cream after swimming and every couple of hours according to the factor number you are using.
  • Go for short intensive sunbathing holidays. A short and intensive exposure is more aggressive and damaging to your skin than a long exposure with only a few hours at a time.
  • Do not store sunscreens in very hot places as extreme heat can ruin their protective chemicals.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Sun Protection Hat 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your insight, Anath. The topic is incredibly important to me. Unfortunately the ones that would need this knowledge the most will never research it =/

  • profile image

    Baby Sun Hat 7 years ago

    I would never let my own child play in the summer sun without a baby sun hat... But you have to find a hat that your toddler likes or else she will take it of as soon as you look away.

  • Adom profile image

    Adom 7 years ago

    I couldn't agree more!! In the Sun protection clothing you can also check Nammu Swimming Hats; stylish sun protective swim cap

  • 2uesday profile image

    2uesday 8 years ago

    Excellent information in this hub,important facts everyone needs to know about protection from the sun and warning signs for skin cancer.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    This is an excellent hub, great information and advice. I can definitely tell people that the water does not protect you, I had some very bad burns when I was younger because I was in the water for too long without protection. Now if I am out in the strong sun I wear sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat, and maybe a light shirt on top.

  • Anath profile image

    Anath 8 years ago

    You said it Brian, sensible advice, that is what sun protection is all about.

  • BrianS profile image

    Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

    Good information and sensible advice.