Summer is coming, and that means the temperatures will soar and the sun will shine!
How much do YOU get out to enjoy summer weather?
Many of us take our skin health for granted and don’t pay enough attention to the prevention of skin damage…and in North Texas, that’s an especially troublesome trend. So, we decided to share some information about preventing skin damage AND how certain “best practices” can be woven into your home design.
Why do we talk about sun damage?
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that one in FIVE Americans will develop skin cancer in their lives. And 40-50% of Americans who live to the age of 65 will have either the condition called squamous cell carcinoma or another called basal cell carcinoma at least once.
These statistics set most of us up to feel more anxious than empowered, but if you know how natural sun protection can be built into your home design as WELL as your daily practices, the path forward will be sunlit and guided!!
Summertime is a beautiful time of year (our favorite, in fact), and it’s a GREAT period for outdoor activities with your friends and family. Having fun, allowing yourself time to relax, and enjoying the fresh summer breeze is as important as taking care of your skin and staying hydrated, and it all goes hand-in-hand.
Work natural sun protection into your home design!
Let’s dive right into your outdoor space so we can ensure it’s USABLE during the summer (meaning you can use it knowing it will only bring relaxation to you, your family and guests…instead of potential sun damage).
To protect everyone kicking back in your yard, try any combination of these 6 expert tips:
Install a fabric canopy to your deck railing. Expert tip: Choose a fabric that is fade-resistant and that will shelter you adequately from the sun.
Put up an outdoor umbrella—this is a particularly attractive option if your outdoor seating is next to a pool!
Use shade sails. This relatively simple installation is stretched across poles in the yard to provide shade. They also have great design selections, making your outdoor space attractive and memorable no matter the “look.”
Increase the shade with a pergola! Pergolas can be used to add shade on decks that have no trees surrounding them to provide a canopy of shade to begin with. Expert tip: this is an especially attractive option if you have a grill outdoors and plan on using it a lot this summer!
Install a retractable awning. This is a great option for many houses in the area since it provides good shade but, if you need more sunlight in the house, it can also be retracted to let more light in through the windows.
Elect a freestanding shaded structure. For example, choosing a standing structure for the middle of your yard can be an awesome way to keep sheltered from the sun while finding the perfect piece for the look, feel and size of your space. Expert tip: adding tables or a hammock underneath will be an added plus for just about any yard!
Basics of daily habits for skin protection this summer
If you need a refresher on how to protect yourself and your family from the harmful rays of the sun this summer, we’ve also compiled some daily, practical tips for you:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen. There are three types of ultraviolet radiation from the sun (UVA, UVB, and UVC waves). UVA is the longest wavelength, and it’s the most dangerous type of radiation since it penetrates the skin deeper than UVB.
That said, UVB is responsible for sunburns. UVC, on the other hand, is absorbed by the atmosphere and never reaches us. And so, what we need to pay attention to are UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen has ingredients that absorb, reflect, scatter or dissipate these rays. When you’re buying sunscreen, make sure that it has BOTH UVA and UVB protection.
- Use sunscreen—ALWAYS. We are used to applying sunscreen only in the summer, and only when we’re exposed for long periods to the sun (like when we go to the beach or hit the hiking trails). But we should actually use sunscreen all year round, and whenever we’ll be outside for more than 20 minutes.
- Apply sunscreen correctly. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside, and it should be re-applied every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Also, avoid going out in direct sunlight between 10 AM and 4 PM whenever you can help it.
- The clothes you wear make a bigger difference than you might have thought. Make sure you’re keeping covered and you’re not exposing your skin to too much sunlight. Wear hats that will protect your head and UV-blocking sunglasses in addition to tighter-weave fabrics (since the sun can burn you through fabric fibers).
- Protect newborns and young children. Newborns and children under six months should not be exposed to the sun at all since their skin is too fragile to handle the harmful rays. If you do expose them to the sun, it should be in very short intervals. Sunscreens designed with a high SPF and for sensitive baby skin can be used on babies over six months of age.
- Check yourself. Remember to examine your skin at least once a month—put it in your calendar and make a reminder if you think you might forget.
Protecting yourself from the sun does not mean scratching the beach party or the cookout!! You probably knew most of these skin care tips, but what about the design ideas? How equipped is your yard for entertaining this summer?
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