Finally! Summer is here, the days are getting hotter, and you’ve probably already enjoyed several weeks in your in-ground swimming pool. While splashing away in the cool water is loads of fun, getting a sunburn is not. At Hawaiian Pool Builders, we have four tips to avoid getting a sunburn.
It’s natural to want to get out in the sun during these warm, summer days, that’s one reason you have a pool. It should also be as natural to want to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun when you are outside.
Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause sunburn, eye damage, and premature wrinkles. Here are four tips to avoid getting a sunburn:
1. Choose when to swim: Swimming early in the morning, or late in the afternoon/early evening are the best times to get your daily swim in. The sun is the hottest between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Since you have an in-ground swimming pool, we suspect that you, your family, and friends will be outdoors and in the pool during those hours.
2. Choose the right sunscreen:
- Choose a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. Sunscreens with this label protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All sunscreen products protect against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. But UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Only products that pass a test can be labeled “broad spectrum.” Products that aren’t broad spectrum must carry a warning that they only protect against sunburn, not skin cancer or skin aging.
- Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers do mean more protection, but the higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%.
- Water resistant does not mean water proof. No sunscreens are waterproof or “sweatproof,” and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. If a product’s front label makes claims of being water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. For best results, follow the directions printed on the packaging.
- Reapply sunscreen after toweling off since the towel wipes away the sunscreen.
- Be aware that chlorine strips sunscreen. Though sunscreen is the best barrier from the harmful effects of the sun, it’s important to remember that chlorine strips away the UV-blocking properties of sunscreen, negating the benefits.
- Check the expiration date. Sunscreens become less effective as they get older, so it’s important to use one that will still protect your skin.
- Apply it generously. If you don’t, you won’t get the full benefits, and could wind up with a sunburn. For the best protection, you need about 1 ounce of sunscreen to cover your entire body, including your face, ears, and scalp.
3. Wear the proper clothing:
- Wearing protective clothing such as a hat with a wide brim, at least 4 inches wide is enough to cover your neck, ears, eyes, and scalp.
- Wear loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs. You can purchase clothing that is made from sun protective material. These clothes generally will be labeled indicated how protective they are against the UV rays.
- Dark clothing can block more sunlight than lighter clothes can.
- Sunglasses with UV ray protection will help prevent any eye damage from the sun.
4. Stay shielded:
Whenever possible, sit in the shade. Place a few chairs in shady areas of your yard. Not only will that cut down on the amount of sun you are getting, but the ground will be cooler, and you can then cool off more.
- Sit under an umbrella or awning.
- Go inside for lunch. We know, everyone wants to eat outside. Not only will going inside reduce your exposure to the sun’s rays, but everyone will get a chance to cool down and even rest a bit.
Follow these four tips to avoid getting a sunburn, and your days will be full of fun and entertainment.