Taking proactive steps is crucial when it comes to sun damage. It’s far easier to protect your health through prevention rather than repair after the fact. The good news is, taking preventative measures doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few simple precautions you can take:   Use SPF Correctly At this point, the importance of applying sunscreen is a well-known fact. We know it protects our skin, but do we know how to use it correctly? In order to reap all of the benefits that sunscreen provides, you must use it the right way.   Sunscreens have a different sun protection factor (SPF) depending on their level of protection. It’s a good rule of thumb to use an SPF of at least 30 and to reapply every two hours (or more frequently when swimming or sweating). Additionally, it’s crucial to read the labels to ensure there aren’t any potentially dangerous ingredients in your sunscreen that could actually counteract its benefits.   Protect Your Eyes It’s especially important to protect your eyes from UV damage as they are the only internal tissues that can be directly exposed to the sun; sounds a little gross, right? Too much sun exposure can lead to extensive conditions, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and cornea sunburns.   Not all sunglasses on the market fully protect your eyes from UV damage. This is why it’s crucial to ensure that you purchase sunglasses that protect 100% of UV rays. If you’re unsure if your current sunglasses are doing their job, you can bring them to an optometrist to determine their protection level.   Prep Your Hair Hair damage from the sun is real, and there are a few tell-tale signs when it happens. Sun overexposure may result in discolored, dry, frizzy, and shedding hair. In order to prevent this from happening, there are a few steps you will need to take.   Start by using heat protectant products to shield your hair from UV damage from both hot styling tools or the sun itself. On extra sunny days, it’s important to always wear a hat in order to protect your scalp and hair from damage. Additionally, you can try using hair care products developed to prevent hair thinning to keep your locks strong and healthy against damage.   Reference the UV Index The UV index is a 10-point scale that represents the expected risk of sun exposure. Days that have a level 5 index or over should be taken very seriously as you’ll be at a greater risk of sun damage.   There will be certain days when it’s best to stay out of the sun altogether to ensure protection. For more information on how to read a UV index, go here.   Wear UPF Clothing There are now brands that make clothing specifically designed to block both UVA and UVB rays. Similar to the way SPF sunscreen works, clothing with higher levels of UPF provide you with more sun protection.   An easy way to check how much your current clothing protects you is by holding it up to a lamp to see how much light radiates through. The less light that shines through, the more protection it provides. It’s also important to note that if clothing gets wet, it’s protection level drops by half.   Bring On the Antioxidants Antioxidants have the ability to neutralize free radicals caused by sun exposure. Additionally, they can protect your skin from free radicals generated by digital blue light and pollution. There are a few ways you can utilize antioxidants in your routine.   Certain sunscreens are enriched with antioxidants to make it a one-and-done step when protecting your skin. Or you can even apply an antioxidant serum on your skin before your sunscreen for an added layer of protection. Antioxidant-rich foods such as spinach, blueberries, and tomatoes can all boost your free radical protection from the inside-out. Lastly, you can try our rejuvinating Brighten Facial with antioxidants for a gorgeous glow and skin rejuvenation.   Stay Clear From Tanning Beds Although many know the dangers tanning beds pose to their health, many still use them. Artificial UV radiation at close proximity is detrimental to the well-being of your skin and hair. Fortunately, there are various ways to get a “healthy-looking” tan without UV exposure.   The logic that a base tan before a vacation will prevent you from getting a sunburn is an ill one, at that. Getting a “base” tan doesn’t have anything to do with your skin getting less burnt when exposed to the sun. In fact, the skin products you use, the medications you take, the UV index, and your skin type can all affect your likelihood of getting a sunburn. To mitigate these risk factors, try using a faux-tanner at home or sign up for a spray tan subscription in your area.   Pay Attention to the Time of Year   The summer is when the UV rays are at their strongest, but did you know that damage can happen year-round? Depending on certain factors, such as the ground you’re standing on, can all increase UV damage.   Unfortunately, reflective objects can pose damage not only once, but twice. This occurs when there’s snow on the ground, you’re by the water, and even if you’re standing on a sandy beach in the fall. The sun reflects off these surfaces and bounces the light right back to you, even if you’re in the shade. This is why it’s important to take precautions no matter what time of year it is to ensure total protection.   To lock in your damage control and ensure a thriving and healthy life for your skin, schedule a spa therapy and experience the rejuvenating experience of caring for your body and mind.