Summer may be drawing to a close, but it doesn’t hurt to have a quick refresher on sun safety. One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer at some point in their lifetime, so let’s take the steps now for ourselves and our children to stay as protected as possible (while still enjoying the summer sun).

  1. SPF it up. Actually, this goes beyond summer. If you’re going to be outside in the spring, summer, winter or fall, no matter the weather, you’ll want to use a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30. Put on your SPF at least 15 minutes before you head outside. And, in the summertime especially, reapply every 80-120 minutes and after swimming.
  2. Sun damage extends to your eyes as well, so throw on a pair of UV protected sunglasses (which are also available for kids). What can the sun do to your eyes? Aside from being blindingly bright, “extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis that can cause temporary vision loss,” according to WebMD.
  3. Don’t forget the hats. If you’ve got a full head of hair, this may not be your first thought when leaving the house, but sunburn can affect your scalp as well. Plus, if you get yourself a baseball cap or a wide-brimmed hat, you’ll help keep the sun off your face too.
  4. Pucker up! Don’t forget to protect your lips with SPF as well. For the ladies, there are tons of options ranging from chapstick to lip sticks with SPF. For the men, you’ll also find plenty of choices in the lip balm variety. Remember to reapply after drinking, eating and swimming.
  5. It may be the “best sun” but if you can avoid being outside — or in direct sunlight — between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm, you’ll avoid the sun’s most damaging hours. And, that’s a good thing.
  6. Check your skin on a regular basis so you’re aware of any changes in current moles and skin textures; also be on the lookout for anything new that may sprout up. If you have any questions or concerns, make an appointment with a dermatologist who can take a closer look.