Is Getting A Tan Safe? What You Need To Know About Being Outdoors This Summer

Let's face it — the idea of getting a safe tan from the sun is kind of silly. In fact, a darkening skin tone typically one of the first signs of too much UV exposure, according to the FDA. Unless you're using a bronzer or self-tanner, there really isn't a way to get a truly safe tan without experience some type of sun damage. Whether it's a slight bronze to the skin or a full blown sunburn, changes in skin pigmentation are rarely safe. However, there are ways to be in the sun this summer without worrying about damaging your skin. With just a bit of foresight and a few specific sun hacks, you can find yourself having fun in the sun without risking a potential burn.

The first step to stamping out sun damage is to make sure you are using a quality SPF. According the American Academy of Dermatology, the minimum requirement for daily sun protection is SPF 30 whereas SPF 50 is recommended for prolonged exposure to the sun. Applying one ounce of the appropriate SPF every few hours is one of the best ways to ward off sunburns or skin damage. However, if it isn't feasible to constantly reapply sunscreen (like when you're at work), there are ways to block out harmful sun rays. So, while a safe tan may not be in your future, safe sun exposure is. Here are a few ways to enjoy the summer sun, while protecting your skin.

1. Opt For Protective Clothing

This might sound odd, but sun-protecting clothing actually exists. Companies like SunProcations.com and Sungrubbies.com offer clothing options with helpful SPF to help keep your skin protected from the sun's harmful rays.

2. Wear A Hat

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Scalp burns and damaged strands are an all-too-real side effect of sun exposure. According to Prevention.com, you can keep your head cool and protected all summer long by wearing a wide-brimmed hat while outdoors.

3. Grab Some Shades

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Help prevent wrinkles, cataracts, and skin degeneration by choosing to wear sunglasses while out in the sun. The eye care experts at AllAboutVision.com recommend to choose a pair that are 100 percent effective at blocking harmful UV rays.

4. Check Your Shadow

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According to American Skin Association, UV rays are strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Avoiding the sun during these peak times is a great way to avoid unnecessary sun exposure. A good rule of thumb is to step out of the sun if your shadow is very short. This means that the sun is right above you, and can cause the most damage.

While tanning safely is an oxymoron, staying safe while in the sun isn't. Keep your skin protected as you best can while outdoors by covering up and wearing a protective sun block.

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