Summer tends to be the most expensive season of the year, rivaled only by the winter holidays. The costs for summer vacations, summer camps, pool fees, and child care quickly add up, and can lead to exorbitant debts.
However, many people neglect one of the most important expenses of the summer – sun protection. While you have fun outside on beautiful, sunny summer days, the sun’s ultraviolet rays damage your skin, causing sunburn, unsightly sun spots, wrinkles, and, in some cases, skin cancer.
You know that you need to protect your skin from sun damage, but the cost of that protection can quickly accumulate. Luckily, you can save money while protecting your skin from the sun. We’ve compiled a list of ways to save money while protecting your skin, and some strategies to save money on sunscreen to help you cut costs during the summer.
Ways to Protect Your Skin from the Sun
You should wear sunscreen every time you go outside. You can combine your sunblock with other money-saving ideas that protect your skin from the sun. These methods can save you money, and protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
Tip: Even if you abide by these tips, you must still apply sunscreen for maximum protection.
1. Limit Your Time in the Sun
Instead of spending the entire day in the sun, limit your time outside to a couple of hours. Rather than reapplying sunscreen midway through your day, use this as your cue to go inside. This saves your skin and saves you money since you don’t have to apply another round of sunscreen.
2. Wear a Sun Hat
Women can select a stylish wide-brimmed hat, and men can choose a bucket hat or a Panama hat to help block the sun. A hat protects the top of your head, where you can’t apply sunscreen, and also offers added protection for your face and neck, often at the most at risk for skin damage. Buy sun hats at discount department stores during the off-season to get the best prices.
3. Cover Up with a UPF Shirt
I love taking my son to the city park to play in the water fountains. I also love seeing that all of the kids at the park wear protective swim shirts. These shirts have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) which blocks out the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. A UPF of 40 to 50 blocks about 98% of the sun’s rays.
Tip: Buy loose-fitting attire, to get the greatest protection from UPF clothing. Look online for the best prices on UPF clothing; Amazon, eBay, and REI have great deals on sunblock clothing.
4. Stay in the Shade
Staying in the shade protects your skin. Consider using an oversized umbrella if you plan to go to the beach this summer. The umbrella also provides an area for you and your family to cool off after a day in the hot sun. Buy sun umbrellas for the best prices during summer sales at Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
5. Eat More Antioxidants
Eating antioxidants provides some protection against the sun’s rays. Fill up on fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of green tea this summer for maximum protection for your skin.
6. Avoid Reflective Surfaces
Reflective surfaces, such as water, snow, and sand, increase your risk of sun damage because these surfaces reflect up to 85% of the sun’s rays. People burn easily while at the beach or on a ski trip because of the exposure to reflective surfaces. If you can’t avoid these reflective surfaces, make sure every exposed body part has sunscreen, and remember to wear a hat or a cap to protect your skin.
7. Go Outside Early Morning or Late Afternoon
The sun’s rays are their strongest from 10 am to 4 pm. Try to limit your time outside to early morning and late afternoon to avoid overexposure to the sun.
8. Wear Sunglasses
Light-colored eyes have more sensitivity to the sun’s rays, but everyone should wear sunglasses when the sun shines. Sun damage to the eyes can cause cataracts and pteryguim, which block your vision. Make sure to wear glasses that have 99 or 100% UVA and UVB protection and wrap completely around your eyes, to ensure full protection. Look for deals on sunglasses during the off-season, and stock up on extra pairs of sunglasses during sales.
9. Wear Dark, Thick Clothing
Although dark, thick clothing makes you feel warmer, these materials let in less of the sun’s rays than clothing made of thin, light-colored materials. Use caution when wearing thick, dark clothing during especially hot days, however, so that you do not get overheated. Drink plenty of water and limit your time outside when wearing heavier clothing.
10. Don’t Go to a Tanning Salon
Tanning beds can damage your skin beyond repair; even more so than tanning yourself in the sun. Tanning beds rank right alongside tobacco and arsenic as major causes of cancer.