Being out in the sun all day is often unavoidable. Most people are well aware of the possible skin damage, including wrinkles, burns and premature aging. Fewer people are aware that the sun can damage other parts of the body too, from your nails to your hair.
Overexposure to the sun can cause your hair to become dry, brittle and discolored. UV rays permeate your nails, which may eventually become yellow with raised ridges. Your lips also feel the wrath of the sun — they have almost no melanin, so they’re not protected against sunburn. Excessive UV rays can also cause eye diseases such as cataracts.
Prevention is key when it comes to sun damage, so follow these tips for thorough protection.
Skin & lips
Sun protection is especially important during summer months, but even cloudy days can damage your skin and lips. Young people are particularly vulnerable, though the damage doesn’t show up until later. In addition to arming yourself with a high-quality sunscreen to prevent burns, wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide all-day shade. Use a chapstick that contains SPF, and apply it regularly throughout the day.
To prevent hair from becoming brittle or discolored, you can use a conditioner that contains sunscreen or simply run sunscreen through your hair. A more practical solution, however, is to wear a hat or scarf when you’re outside for long periods of time. This protects your scalp as well as your delicate hair.
Nails are one of the most-often neglected areas of the body when it comes to sun protection. Excessive sun isn’t any more healthy for your nails than it is for your skin. Luckily, the solution is simple: protect your nails with an opaque nail polish. There are also top coats on the market that are specifically designed to handle extra UV rays.
You may already be doing everything that you need to do to protect your eyes from the sun –wearing sunglasses. To reduce the risk of eye damage even further, however, make sure to choose sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV rays. The lenses should be dark, as well as large enough to shield your entire eye. Make sure to wear your sunglasses whenever sunlight is reflecting into your eyes, even if the sun isn’t high in the sky.