Shine On, Stay Safe: Sun Protection Essentials for Pride

Shine On, Stay Safe: Sun Protection Essentials for Pride

As Pride month paints the streets with vibrant colors and celebrations, it’s time to enjoy the excitement of outdoor festivities. However, amidst the cheers and rainbow flags, it’s crucial to remember to safeguard your skin from the sun’s rays. Whether you’re dancing in parades, attending vibrant festivals, or simply soaking up the community spirit, prioritize your well-being this Pride month and all summer long with these essential sun safety tips.

Don’t Skip the SPF 

The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause skin damage and increase your risk for skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more is essential for protecting your skin from UVA rays (that cause skin aging) and UVB rays (that cause sun burns). Make sure to reapply at least every 2 hours. Reapply more frequently if you’re going to be in the water or excessively sweating, as sunscreen is not waterproof. Remember to check the expiration date too. Expired sunscreen is less effective, so if you’ve had that bottle of SPF for three or more years, it’s a good idea to replace it. 


Keep the Shades On 

Sun rays don’t just damage unprotected skin, they can hurt your eyes too. That’s why it’s recommended you wear sunglasses with UV protection. Look for sunglasses that have a UV 400 rating or a “100% UV protection” label. These will provide your eyes with the most protection from UV rays, reducing eye strain, radiation exposure, and future eye problems. 

Dress the Part

As a general rule, covering up any exposed skin is going to greatly reduce exposure to UV rays. But while long sleeves and long pants are ideal, they aren’t always practical in the summer. Consider wearing breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen to help you keep cool and covered. Some clothing is specifically made to block UV rays and is usually made from lightweight, sweat-wicking material. Add a wide brimmed hat to protect your head, neck, and ears, and you’re almost ready.

What to Know Before you Go

Look up the UV index before you head out. This will tell you how harsh the UV rays will be at different times throughout the day. Typically, UV levels will be highest during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak. If you’re going to be in the sun during that time, be sure to take extra precaution, hydrate, and seek shade when you can.

It’s a good idea to pack extra water, sunscreen, and even a small fan to keep you cool throughout the day. Just be sure to check the bag policy for where you’re going. Remember to stay safe and have fun. Happy Pride!