During the hot Florida summers, air conditioning is a survival essential for making the heat bearable. But the air conditioning in your home can make it harder for your body to adjust to the drastic outdoor temperatures. Follow these tips to adjust to the summer heat, protect your skin from UV rays, and enjoy all that Florida has to offer.
Protect Your Skin from UV Damage
Floridians love getting a tan and enjoying year-round outdoor activities, but it comes with dangerous consequences if we don’t take measures to protect our skin and keep our bodies healthy. Exposure to UV rays is something everyone should be aware of all year long – not just in the summer. Proper apparel can help prevent overexposure, especially with the addition of hats and UV-protection sunglasses. Wearing lightweight clothes and full-body coverage is great for spending time on a boat where the reflection of the water can magnify the UV rays.
For areas of skin that aren’t protected by long-sleeved shirts or pants, it’s important to apply sunscreen – and to reapply throughout the day. SkinCancer.org recommends applying 30 minutes before sun exposure and to reapply the same amount every 2 hours. The best sunscreens are between SPF 30 and 50, where anything below 30 is ineffective and anything above 50 is just as effective as SPF 50. Darker skin has a natural resistance to UV rays and should do fine with SPF 30, if you have lighter skin, try to choose a sunscreen with higher SPF.
Build Up Your Natural Resistance
Plants have natural phytochemicals that protect against UV damage to the skin. Lycopene can be found in red fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, white carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and broccoli contain the phytochemicals alpha and beta carotene. As if you didn’t have enough reasons to eat your vegetables, you can now add “builds natural resistance to sun damage” to the list as well!
Floridians love getting a tan and enjoy year round outdoor activities, but it comes with dangerous consequences if we don’t take measures to protect our skin and keep our bodies healthy. Exposure to UV rays is something everyone should be aware of year round. If we maintain a healthy diet and manage our exposure to the sun, we can all enjoy our time in Southwest Florida and all the fun it offers.