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The 6 best ways to be sun safe

Check the UV Index every day

The UV Index is a useful tool when it comes to protecting yourself from the sun. It tells you the strength of the sun’s daily UV rays – the higher the number, the stronger the sun’s rays and the more important it is to protect yourself.

UV Index and exposure table

On days when the UV Index reaches 3 (moderate) or more, you need to be extra careful to protect your skin. Try to reduce your time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – when the sun’s rays are at their strongest – or any time of the day when the UV Index is 3 or more. Take a closer look at UV rays.

Image of an umbrellaSeek shade

If your shadow is shorter than you, find some shade because this means the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Sit under a tree at the park or under an awning on a restaurant patio. Bring an umbrella for on-the-go protection. If you can see the sky from your shady spot, you still need to cover up with clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. UV rays can reach you in the shade by reflecting off the surfaces around you.

Long sleeve shirtCover up

Did you know that clothes protect you better than sunscreen? Cover up as much of your skin as you can with clothing that is made from tightly woven fabric. Or look for clothing that is labelled with a UPF (UV protection factor). Wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers your head, face, ears and neck. Find out what to wear in the sun.

SunglassesWear sunglasses

Sunglasses don’t have to cost a lot to work well, but make sure you choose close-fitting ones with UVA and UVB protection in a wraparound style. The label might have UV 400 or 100% UV protection.

SPF 30Use sunscreen properly

Sunscreen absorbs UV rays and prevents them from penetrating the skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. It’s important to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to any skin not covered by clothing. If you’re going in the water, make sure your sunscreen is also water-resistant. Remember, use sunscreen along with shade, clothing and hats, not instead of them. Find more tips in Sunscreen 101.

Don’t use indoor tanning beds

There’s no safe way to get a tan. Tanned skin is damaged skin. Don’t use indoor tanning beds or sun lamps.