While the World Health Organization recommends that everyone get five to 15 minutes of sun exposure two to three times per week, overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to premature aging, skin cancer, and damage to vision. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself from UV rays. Yes, your body requires small amounts of UV radiation for the production of vitamin D, which is essential for good health, but the risks of too much UV radiation are great.
Fortunately, there are several simple things you can do to protect yourself from UV rays and minimize your risks for health issues like impaired vision and skin cancer. To help protect your vision for the future, it’s important to wear sunglasses on a regular basis, even in the winter. If you're looking to buy sunglasses online, take a look at our unisex sunglasses line, which features many popular sunglasses styles.
Wear Clothing That Covers Your Arms and Legs
Instead of having to apply sunscreen on your arms and legs every day, simply wear clothing that covers your arms and legs when you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time. Some fabrics are treated with special finishes that have extra UV protection. These fabrics are great for outdoor enthusiasts. They come with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings, which are similar to SPF ratings for sunscreens. For example, a UPF rating of 35 means that only 1/35th of UV radiation passes through the fabric.
A simple coating of SPF 15 sunscreen protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. If you apply a daily moisturizer, choose one that includes sunscreen. Remember that you don’t have to be spending a day at the beach or the pool in order to need sunscreen - UV rays never take a break, so you shouldn’t either.
According to the Mayo Clinic, UV eye protection is a big deal. UV rays can damage the skin of your eyelid, your cornea, your lens, and other sensitive parts of the eye. Over time, exposure to UV rays can contribute to macular degeneration, cataracts, and even growths on the eye.
Fortunately, sunglasses can screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light, shading your eyes and reducing your risk of these problems. Look for sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Neutral-colored lenses are helpful if color recognition is important to you (for instance, when you’re driving). It's also important to invest in a pair of polarized sunglasses when you’re trying to protect your eyes - check out the benefits of polarized sunglasses and polarized vs non-polarized sunglasses.
Avoid Tanning Beds
There’s a misconception out there that tanning beds are a safe alternative to natural sunlight, but exposure to UV radiation damages your skin regardless of whether those rays come from natural sunlight or another source. Tanning beds are especially dangerous for younger users, as people who begin using tanning beds in adolescence or early adulthood put themselves at increased risk of developing melanoma.
The skin on your face, head, ears, and neck is especially tender and susceptible to UV rays, so it’s important to do all you can to protect it from the sun. One way to do this is to wear a wide-brim hat when you’re going to be outside for a long period of time. Look for a hat that shades your head all the way around, not just in the front, and combine your hat with a pair of protective sunglasses.
Avoid Sun During Midday Hours
If at all possible, avoid spending time in the sun during midday hours, between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. This is when UV rays are at their most intense, and when your skin and eyes are the most susceptible to damaging exposure. During these hours, seek out shade, wear sunglasses with UV protection, and cover your face and head with sunscreen or a hat.
By taking these precautions, you can protect your skin and eyes from damaging UV rays and reduce your risk of diseases such as macular degeneration and skin cancer. To check out sunglasses that protect your eyes from these rays, visit our online shop. We have the most stylish, UV-protective sunglasses NYC has to offer. Be sure to come out and visit our pop up shops to try on our sunglasses!