Keep Your Skin Safe in the Sun By Melissa Esham 7/14/2015 As summer temperatures continue to rise and people spend more time outdoors, it’s important to stay protected from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can lead to sunburn and skin cancer. One of the best ways to protect your skin is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Try to stay in the shade when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can also use the shadow test to check when UV rays are strongest: If your shadow is shorter than you are while outdoors, UV rays are more dangerous than at other times of the day. Also, wear clothing that protects against UV rays, such as hats that cover your face and neck, tightly knit and lightly colored clothing, and sunglasses. Using sunscreen on exposed skin is important. A sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is recommended, but also be sure that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both types of UV rays. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before entering sunlight, and reapply every two to three hours, as needed. It may be necessary to reapply more frequently if you are at a high altitude, in a tropical environment, in water or sweating. Using these tips will help protect your skin and ensure you have a fun time in the sun.