Are you sun smart?

With everyone shedding layers of clothes since the warm weather’s arrived, it’s high time for a refresher on staying safe in the sun — we’ve already spotted a few sunburns around town.

Woman applying sunscreen at the beach

With the warm weather creeping up on us and the sun emerging, it’s time to ramp up our sun protection routine (although hopefully you didn’t abandon it over the winter — you can still get a sunburn in the winter, after all). Here’s a refresher on protecting your skin from UV rays.

Apply more than you would naturally be inclined to

Dermatologists, time and time again, say that most people do not put on enough sunscreen. You should be applying the equivalent of a full shot glass to your body. Given that many of us apply less than that, we’re actually not getting the full SPF indicated on the product. Erring to the side of more is better when it comes to quantity of product applied is the rule of thumb.

Reapply every two hours

On top of not applying enough product, chances are you’re not reapplying your sunscreen often enough (or at all) either. To remain fully protected, you need to put on more every two hours, and if you’ve been swimming, exercising or sweating for any reason, reapply immediately.

Choose your sunscreen wisely

Your sunscreen should be broad spectrum (which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays) and with an SPF 30 at the very minimum. Wear the highest SPF you can tolerate (the look and feel of a higher SPF may not be as comfortable, but it is essential if you tend to burn). If you are active, wear a water-resistant sport version, which will not drip. If you want to be able to apply your sunscreen quickly (important if you’re applying it on your kids who will not hold still for a minute), a continuous spray format may be the best choice for you.

Apply it everywhere

Be deliberate about covering every inch of your skin. Easy spots to forget are your scalp (especially where you part your hair), in between your fingers and toes, behind your knees, on the insides of your elbows and on the bottoms of your feet.

Buy sun-protection pieces for your wardrobe

Protect your eyes from sun damage by getting a pair with UV-protection lenses. A hat with a broad brim will help shield your face.

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