With the Fall season upon us and the impending Winter up ahead, the days will get shorter and we won’t see quite as much of the sun. This may prompt you to walk out of the house hastily because what’s there to remind you to use some sunscreen?
Did you know that only one-third of Americans apply sunscreen? What’s worse is that they often take it for granted, fail to reapply it periodically, and take shade in the shadows of the strewn trees, their palms, tinted window screens, etc. If you think they will help you escape sun damage, aging, and skin cancer, you’re highly mistaken.
No doubt standing in the shade provides you some respite; but it does very little to truly protect you from UV damage.
The Science Behind It
Shade—provided by trees, buildings, umbrellas—protects you from direct UV rays but you are still vulnerable to UVB rays. These are radiation rays emitted from the sun that get deflected from different surfaces—concrete, sand, water, snow—on to your skin. The only way to block out UVB rays is to go undercover, and by that we mean opting for full-body clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat… the works!
These Shady Options Are No Good Either
- Hats & Caps: The width of the brim makes a difference. Men are at risk of ear cancer and, for women, the nose (if your hat does not cover it that is). Your hat should be broad-rimmed with at least a three-inch-wide and drooping overlap to protect your cheeks and nose. Needless to say, baseball caps do not provide enough protection either.
- Trees: Standing under a tree at mid-day when there are minimal defused UVB rays is good. But on a cloudy day, or when the sun is rising or setting, it can leave you overexposed and vulnerable.
- Umbrellas: They do not provide much protection against the UVB rays that are deflected from different surfaces.
We urge you to never skip the sunscreen, make your own organic protection solutions if possible, and read our guide on sun protection to understand how you can truly throw some shade your way.
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