No two Destination: Healthy Skin events are identical. Sometimes we are in big cities, other events are in small towns. Occasionally, you’ll find us at a music festival, farmers market or even in a busy mall parking lot. Last weekend, we hosted an event on the boardwalk in lovely Virginia Beach. It was a great day on the shore as we shared sun protection tips and sunscreen samples with hundreds of people and performed free skin cancer screenings with the help of a local dermatologist.
Unfortunately, we also saw our fair share of sunburns throughout the day. As we spoke to our new friends, we heard a few mistakes that beachgoers often make. Today, we’re sharing our top tips to avoid sunburns (and a bad day at the beach):
Prepare Before You Go
Far too many visitors to the RV said they only applied sunscreen after they got to the beach. You should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you leave the house. This is particularly important if you’re using a chemical sunscreen, because it takes time for the skin to absorb the chemical filters that help protect you. Sunscreen should be applied to your whole body, including your scalp, in between your fingers and toes, and to the tops of your feet.
Reapply Throughout the Day
When you ask people when they reapply sunscreen, it’s not uncommon to hear that it’s only after they start to notice that their skin is reddening. The problem with this approach, of course, is that damage has already been done. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. You can set timers on your phone to help you remember to reapply.
Look Beyond Sunscreen
Sunscreen is one important part of a complete sun protection strategy, but it’s not enough. Be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and UV-protective clothing. Whenever possible, seek the shade with a beach umbrella or tent.
Get to Know UV Rays
UV rays can be sneaky. You may think you’re protected when you are lounging under your beach umbrella because the rays aren’t reaching you from above, but UV rays can bounce off certain surfaces including sand, concrete and water. Even in a shady spot, your skin may come in contact with UV radiation. It’s important to note that clouds don’t provide protection either. In fact, about 80 percent of the sun’s ray can reach your skin on a cloudy day.
Our next beachside stop? Miami on June 9 and 10. We hope to see you there!