Sun Safety 101: Tips For Enjoying Your Outdoor Space

  • 5 min read

Sun Safety 101: Essential Tips for Enjoying Your Outdoor Space

When those inviting beams of sunlight coax you outside, it's all too easy to overlook their hidden strength. The sun, magnificent as it may be, commands a certain level of caution, particularly if you're keen on spending a good chunk of your day in its company. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, exposing your skin and eyes to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays without adequate protection can lead to harmful effects, including damage to your immune system and an increased risk of developing cancer.  

Whether you're kicking back in your garden, fussing over your flowerbeds, or throwing a weekend grill party, understanding how to strike a balance between soaking in that vitamin D and shielding your skin is key. 

Sun safety isn't just about dousing yourself in sunblock but crafting an environment where you can savor the great outdoors minus the fret over UV rays doing a number on you. This article offers practical tips for enjoying your outdoor spaces while observing sun safety.  

Tips For Enjoying Your Outdoor Space
  • Creating an outdoor shade 
  • Creating shade is an essential tip for truly enjoying your outdoor space. The harsh sun can make even the most pleasant patio feel uncomfortable and unusable during peak hours. A well-placed shade solution allows you to control the amount of sun exposure, creating a cool and inviting atmosphere. 

    Giant umbrellas, retractable awnings, pergolas, and shade sails are fantastic options, offering a large area of shade to your outdoor space. They're perfect for creating a shaded dining area or a relaxing spot to curl up with a book. If you’re looking to soak up the fresh air and not get a sunburn, you can find the perfect solution from Giant Umbrellas and other reputable shade suppliers.

    But remember, the sun is on the move all day. So go for shades that you can shuffle around or tweak. This way, you can keep up with the sun's dance, staying shielded as you drift through your outdoor paradise. 

  • Adding protective sunscreen 
  • Think of sunscreen as your skin's best pal, warding off the sun's fierce embrace. Opting for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is essential, even on cloudy days. This protective layer is capable of blocking out  97% of UVB rays, ensuring those cunning rays don't infiltrate your skin and cause hidden damage.  

    Remember, though, even with high SPF levels offering more protection; they don't have a longer shield life than their lower SPF counterparts, so reapplying regularly is critical to maintaining your defense. Applying sunscreen should be as regular as brushing your teeth.  

    Make it a point to lather up a good 15 minutes before you step out and be generous with it. Every bit of skin that sees the light of day needs this shield, from your earlobes down to your toes. 

  • Dressing smart 
  • Say goodbye to the days when sun-safe wear meant dull, baggy clothes. Nowadays, you can shield yourself from the sun in style. Keep an eye out for outfits with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating, which tells you how well the fabric fends off solar intrusions. UPF gear is like a fortress in fabric form, backing up your sunscreen for top-to-toe coverage. 

    Don't overlook the power of a wide-brimmed hat and  UV-filtering sunglasses. A stylish hat can cover your face, neck, and ears, while top-notch sunglasses keep your peepers safe from UV harm and fend off future cataract troubles. 

    Opt for airy, long-sleeved tops and trousers. Go for garments that let your skin breathe while keeping the sun at bay, ensuring you stay chill and covered all at once. This way, you won't have to pick between staying cool and staying safe. 

  • Timing it right 
  • The sun is at its peak ferocity from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you can, try to line up your outdoor escapades outside these hours. Early mornings and late afternoons dish out softer, cooler sunlight, perfect for a spot of gardening, a jog, or just lounging about. 

    Notably, the most intense UV exposure typically occurs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. during summer, contributing to  20–30% of the day's total UV radiation. Should you find yourself out and about when the sun is in full force, try to stay in the shade and take breaks indoors. This will help you avoid getting sunburned, overheated, and dehydrated.

    Keep in mind that the sun's vibe changes with the seasons and gets more intense the closer you are to the equator. Stay one step ahead by keeping tabs on UV levels with apps or websites, helping you plan your outdoor time more wisely. 

  • Keeping hydrated 
  • Water is your ally when basking in the sun.  Dehydration can creep up on you, leaving you with a pounding headache, dizziness, and a general feeling of ickiness. It's a silent, fun spoiler that can make sun exposure all the more taxing. 

    Make water your constant companion. Tote around a refillable water bottle and sip steadily, even if you're not feeling thirsty. The aim is to stay ahead of dehydration, not chase it. 

    And don't forget to throw in some juicy snacks at your outdoor shindigs. Munchies like watermelon, strawberries, and cucumbers aren't just tasty—they're also packed with water, making them great for keeping you hydrated under the sun. 

  • Staying on the lookout 
  • Monitoring your skin regularly is important for detecting potential issues like skin cancer early. Familiarize yourself with all areas of your skin to easily notice any changes or abnormalities. New moles, changes in old ones, or any odd skin shifts should have you dialing your dermatologist. 

    Think about setting up yearly skin check-ups with a professional. Catching things early can make a world of difference. Get your friends involved in skin checks too. Some spots, like your back or scalp, can be tricky to check by yourself. Teaming up ensures nothing gets missed. 

    Wrapping it up 

    Getting the hang of sun protection is more than just dodging a burn, shaping a space where you can fully dive into the joys of the outdoors without putting your health on the line. By mastering the art of shade, making sunscreen a staple, donning UPF-rated wear, and keeping hydrated, you're laying the groundwork for endless fun, sun-safe days ahead. 

    Keeping up with skin checks and spreading the sun-smart word only deepens your commitment to a life lived brightly but safely. Armed with these pointers, you can transform your outdoor space from just a spot outside into a sanctuary where wellness and happiness glow as fiercely as the sun above.