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Stay Sun Safe

The sun shining at McIntyre Creek pond in Whitehorse (Yukon) | Photo: Gurdeep Pandher

It’s the beginning of August, which means it’s really heating up here on the Yukon. With sunshine every day and warm temperatures, it’s hard to stay indoors. The sunlight warms you up inside and out, and gives you a good dose of vitamin D. However, without taking proper precautions, it can also cause sunburn, premature aging, and even lead to cancer. So how can you preserve your skin’s health? Read on to find out.

Covering up when you head out is very important. Obviously, with the heat, wearing long sleeve sweaters and jeans is not the answer. A loose shirt that covers at least half your arm and a breezy maxi skirt or longer shorts, however, are viable options. For even more protection, bring an umbrella, sunglasses, and a hat out as well. Make sure, after a few hours of sun, you head into the shade for some rest to prevent heatstroke as well as sunburn.

As everyone knows, sunscreen is mandatory if you want to go out anywhere, in any weather. Yes, cloudy days can damage your skin as well, though obviously not as easily. Depending on where you live and what the weather is like on that day, the SPF you choose can vary. However, you can never go wrong with at least an SPF 30 sunscreen. Slather it on liberally a few minutes prior to heading outside, and reapply often, especially if you’re staying outside for an extended time or exercising.

Sunburn isn’t the only discomfort the sun can give you; hyperthermia (overheating) is common as well. To prevent it, drink lots of fluids, and limit your sun exposure. If at any point you feel sweaty, lethargic, and uncomfortable, head inside for a while. If the temperatures get really hot, and you don’t have an air conditioner at home, head out to the mall or library, where it’s bound to be chilly, or go swimming. If, somehow, none of those options are available, there’s no harm in taking a cold shower.

The sun is only around for a limited time, so take advantage of it while it lasts. However, no matter what a hassle toting an umbrella is or how time consuming slathering on sunscreen is, it’s still important to take good care of yourself and stay safe. However, if you don’t feel like heading outside, sitting by the air conditioner engrossed in a good book is a great way to pass the time as well.

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