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Summer is one of the best times of the year as the weather warms up and we are able to enjoy the lovely outdoors. However, even with all of the sun’s radiance, at my Ottawa cosmetic clinic, we understand the damaging effects the sun can have on the skin. While we love the motto “fun in the sun,” we understand that protecting yourself and others against these damaging rays is really the best way to enjoy the summer months.

We’ve broken up our safe sun practices into three useful tips:

1. Wear sunscreen. Everyone – regardless of skin color – needs sunscreen. Our tips: go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, which blocks 97% of the sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) rays. For women, we recommend finding a moisturizer with SPF already in it, as it is one less step to take before getting out of the house. Apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. It is important to remember that if you are sweating or are going in the water to reapply at least every two hours.

2. Now that we know SPF 30 sunblock only protects against 97% of UV rays, how can we ensure maximum protection? Wearing a hat while outdoors is a great way to keep the sun off of your face. If you are going on a hike or can wear protective clothing, consider covering sensitive areas such as the shoulders and chest. Don’t reserve applying sunscreen only if you are actively sunbathing or engaging in sports outside, you need to protect your skin while driving,  taking a walk during your lunch hour or if sitting on a patio too. You also need to protect your skin while indoors if your office space is close to a window. Windows allow UVA to come through.

3. Avoid outdoor exercise during peak sun hours. While we love and encourage an active lifestyle, staying out of the sun during peak hours such as the middle of the day can help reduce your chances of soaking up damaging rays.

It is important to us that you and your loved ones enjoy the beautiful months of summer while staying safe. If you have any tips to add, we’d love for you to leave them in a comment below.

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