Sun Protection

Enjoy the sun safely: protect your skin and your eyes from UVR. Life’s better outside, so get out there and enjoy.

When the UV index is 3 or higher, protect your skin as much as possible.

In general, the UV Index in Canada can be 3 or higher from 11a.m. to 3p.m. between April and September, even when it’s cloudy.

Check the daily forecast for the UV Index and protect your skin accordingly.

Where practical, plan outdoor activities for early morning or after 3 p.m. between April and September.

Don’t use UV tanning equipment or deliberarly try to get a suntan, and avoid getting a sunburn.
Remember: there’s no such thing as a healthy tan.

sunglasses2 watermelon

But if you are heading outside, use as many if the following sun protection mechanisms as you can. They work best in combination! There are several methods to protect yourself from exposure to UVR.

Slip on Clothing!

In general, clothing provides better protection than sunscreen. So cover up for the best protection against the sun!

Wear light weight shirts with sleeves (Long-sleeved shirts and long pants/skirts are best).

Darker colours offer better protection than lighter colours.

Stay dry – a wet shirt offers less UV protection than a dry one.

What does a UPF rating mean?

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation will pass through unstretched, dry material.

A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th or 2 percent of the sun’s UV rays to pass through.

Slap on a Hat!

A hat should shade your face, head, ears and neck. Look for broad brimmed hats for the best protection!

Hats provide additional eye protection when worn with sunglasses, especially when eyewear does not cover the peripheral areas of the eyes.

Use a brim attachment or legionnaire cover if wearing a hardhat or helmet.

A hat with a tighter fabric best – it will block more of the UVR.

For a busy and active lifestyle outdoors, look for a hat that’s comfortable and functional with ventilation and/or windcords.

Hats come in a variety of fabrics, colours and styles. Choose a hat that makes you look and feel great! Hats can be for fashion and function all in one.

Slop on Sunscreen!

Use sunscreen to protect your skin not covered by clothing.

Sunscreen works by absorbing or blocking UVR rays.

Follow these tips to use sunscreen correctly:

Use sunscreen labelled:

  • Broad spectrum (the sunscreen will protect against both types of UVR, UVA and UVB
  • SPF 30 (at least)
  • Water resistant (water resistant sunscreen is recommended to reduce the amount removed through sweating or swimming. Sunscreens labelled “water resistant” in Canada must provide protection for at least 40 minutes in water.

Use more than you think! The average adult requires about two to three tablespoons of lotion-formulated sunscreen to cover the whole body, and a teaspoon to cover the face and neck.

Consider using sunscreen for the lips (e.g. sunscreen lip balm) as well. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen to commonly missed areas: your ears, your neck, hands and feet.

Reapply regularly, especially after swimming, strenuous exercise or towelling off.

Sunscreen comes in a variety of formulations. Find one that suits you best and apply it properly with thorough coverage. Sunscreen formulations that you find easier to apply throughly will be more effective.

Use sunscreen in combination with other protection mechanisms – it’s one line of defense, not the only line of defense.

Slide on Sunglasses!

What better way to show off your style than to rock a cool pair of shades?

The best UV protection is offered by close-fitting wraparound sunglasses.

Look for sunglasses or prescription lenses with full UVA and UVB protection.

Examples of appropriate labels are UV400 or 100% UV protection.

Contact lenses, even those with UV protection, do not provide full coverage for the eye and the skin around the eye.

Wear your sunglasses all year long to protect your eyes from direct and reflected UVR.

Seek Shade!

Seek shade or bring your own. Scout out the picnic table under the tree and pack and umbrella when you head to the beach. Not only will you stay cool and comfortable, you’ll be better protected from the sun’s rays.

Shade can reduce exposure to UVR by 50-95%

When used in combination with other protective measures (clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen) shade offers the best protection against UVR.

Additional personal protection methods are recommended under shade to protect against UVR reflected off of surfaces.

Shade can be provided by natural or constructed sources.

Good quality shade includes dense vegetation and covered structures that offer shade from the side, not just overhead, to protect against scattered UVR.

As a general guide, wider and denser sources of shade provide increased protection.

Cloth sources of shade such as canopies and umbrellas, should have tightly woven fabric.
But what if shade is unavailable or insufficient to meet the needs of the people using the space?

Instagram @sunsmart_sk

More Instagram