Sun Protection: 9 Great Tips To Protect Yourself [UPDATED]

Skin cancer protection and other sun-safety health measures to adopt at the beach

 

9 Great Tips For Sun Protection at the Beach

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Sun protection tips
2.1 Avoid the sun at noon
2.2 Choose an effective sunscreen
2.3 Protect all parts of your body with sunscreen
2.4 Apply the sunscreen before you leave the house
2.5 Repeat applications
2.6 Cover Up
2.7 Wear Sunglasses
2.8 Keep Shade
2.9 Drink a lot of water
3. FAQs

(This post about sun protection may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 5 Minutes

 

Introduction

We all love a day at the beach!

But in the height of the summer, when the temperature gauge pushes beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a day at the beach does come with some perils.

As the World Health Organisation warn, “the risk of developing health complications due to overexposure to UV radiation is becoming an important public health problem”.

In other words if you stay out in the sun too long, without proper sun protection, you can do yourself some serious long term health damage.

So how can you protect yourself?

Outlined below are 9 sun protection tips to safeguard yourself from the sun on the beach.

If you live for the beach, these tips will help you enjoy your visits there more safely.

 

Sun protection tips

Here are 9 Sun protection tips to bear in mind when you next visit the beach.

 

Avoid the sun at noon

They say only mad dogs and Englishmen are out and about in the midday sun. But this is often not the case at the beach.

Many people are active on the beach around noon. But this is not a recommended thing to do.

Between 12pm and 2pm solar radiation is much stronger than it is at other times of the day. So one of the best tips to protect yourself from the sun is to stay in the shade during this time.

Doing so will greatly reduce your risk of skin damage and thus ensure you have a safer time at the beach.

If you have to be out in the sun at this time of day, alternating between sun and shade every 15 minutes or so, will help limit the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.

 

Choose an effective sunscreen

Sunscreen is one of the main ways to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun.

The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. So using sunscreen with a SPF level 30 or higher, and also one that protects against ultraviolet rays A and B, is highly recommended.

The SPF level of the sunscreen indicates how long it can protect your skin and you definitely get what you pay for here.

SPF 30 sunscreens generally offer people protection from the sun for an average of two hours. (Though that is contingent on how quickly your skin suffers sunburn).

If you plan to spend a bit of time in the ocean, choosing a sunscreen that is water-resistant would be more beneficial to you.

Always check the expiration date of any sunscreen you have at home too, as expired creams can actually cause more damage to your skin.

 

Staying under an umbrella is a good tip to protect yourself from the sun on the beach in Queensland

 

Protect all parts of your body with sunscreen

Some experts advocate that an adult should use at least 35 grams of SPF Factor 30 or more suncreen in each application. So be liberal and cover all parts of your body with sunscreen.

People often tend to focus on the parts of the body that are exposed to the sun when they wear just shorts or a bikini.

Namely their shoulders, legs, arms and face.

However, the lips, eyelids, ears, scalp and ankles are also susceptible to burn too. So when putting on your sunscreen ensure all these areas are fully covered too.

For extra sun protection, lip balm and zinc cream are also worth slapping on too, as the face is more sensitive to sun damage than the rest of your body.

 

Apply the sunscreen before you leave the house

Many people make the mistake of putting sunscreen on when they arrive at the beach.

But for the cream to take effect and penetrate the skin, a great tip for sun protection is to apply the sunscreen 20 or 30 minutes before sunbathing.

When putting the cream on, always follow the instructions that appear on the product label.

 

Repeat applications

Just because you put on sunscreen just before you left the house does not mean you have sun protection all day.

To stay protected, it is important to reapply the sunscreen at least every two hours.

Likewise, if you go for a dip in the ocean it’s a good idea to apply more sun lotion when you get out of the water.

 

Wearing a hat is a good way to protect yourself from the sun in Queensland, Australia

 

Cover Up

Whilst it might be tempting to show off your bikini body or six-pack to all and sundry, more practically speaking, one of the best sun protection tips to reduce the potential for harm from the sun is to wear clothes.

When you’re outside for much of the day, wearing clothing that covers your skin can have a huge impact on your level of sunlight protection.

Depending on the material, most clothes will provide sun protection in some form to the sun. However, there are t-shirts and pants that specifically protect against UV rays which you may want to wear.

As a general rule wear loose-fitting clothes that are made of thick material or dark colours, because these fabrics contain a higher SPF than light coloured lightweight clothing.

In addition to clothing be sure to wear a hat.

It is also essential to wear a hat because it can protect your hair and scalp from being dry. It also helps to shade the back of your neck, ears and face, thus reducing their chances of getting sunburnt.

A darker coloured hat may offer more UV sun protection.

As cool as they look, straw hats with holes that let sunlight through should be avoided.

Similarly, if you wear a baseball cap, ensure that you protect your ears and the back of your neck, with clothing that covers those areas.

 

Wear Sunglasses

It’s important to wear sunglasses when you are on the beach.

Sunglasses provide eye protection from UV rays and help to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. In addition, they also safeguard the skin around your eyes from exposure to the sun. Which can get very painful if they get sunburnt.

Sunglasses that have 99% or 100% UVB and UVA protection offer excellent protection so try and procure yourself a pair of these.

Wrap-around sunglasses tend to work best when it comes to sun protection because they block UV rays from sneaking in from around the side.

 

Keep Shade

The sun’s rays can be unforgiving. So one of the best tips for sun protection is to take a portable umbrella or cabana to the beach with you.

For regular beachgoers, this will not only offer a way to protect yourself from harmful UV rays but also reduce your risk of skin cancer and prevent your skin from ageing.

Whereas umbrellas tend to offer partial shade, cabanas can offer total overhead shade. They are also great for defining your space on the beach to ensure that no one encroaches too close to you.

 

Drink a lot of water

Dehydration is a real danger when you are on the beach. When exposed to the sun, for a prolonged length of time it is important to drink plenty of water.

Aim for a cup of water every 20 minutes, as this should keep you suitably hydrated. When you do drink, it is better to take sips, as opposed to huge gulps.

If you can, invest in a reusable water bottle that will keep your water cold and fresh.

Although tempting, try to avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcoholic drinks as they may speed up the onset of dehydration.

 

FAQs

What are the 5 main principles of sun protection?

The 5 main principles of sun protection, as outlined by the Cancer Council's SunSmart program are slip, slap, slop, seek and slide. This message encourages individuals to slip on clothing that protects you from the sun, slop plenty of SPF30 water resistant sunscreen and slap on a hat with a broad brim. It also advises people to seek out shade during the hottest part of the day and slide on a good pair of sunglasses.

 

How long can you stay outside without sunscreen?

As a rule of thumb, most experts think that you should only spend between 5 to 15 minutes out in the sun if you don't have sunscreen on. However, if you are dark-skinned, the general consensus is half an hour.

 

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