Sun Safety Strategies for All Seasons

The sun’s UV rays are present year-round, and we’re sharing UV safety hacks to keep your eyes and skin healthy throughout the year.

Why You Need UV Safety Tips

The sun emits invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays year-round. UV rays can cause short-term damage to your eyes and skin, such as sunburn. They can also cause more long-term damage, like eye disease, skin aging, and skin cancer.

Eye Damage

Did you know your eyes can get sunburned? They can! Your eyes will be red and feel dry and gritty. Long-term eye exposure to UV rays can cause:

  • Cataracts: The sun can damage the lens of your eyes, leading to blurry, hazy, less colorful vision and possibly blindness.
  • Macular degeneration (MD): The sun can damage the part of your eye that controls your visual sharpness, leading to blurred central vision. MD is a leading cause of blindness.
  • Cancer: The sun can cause cancers of your eyelid.

Skin Aging

Long-term effects of UV light exposure can cause your skin to age faster. This can look like:

  • A leathery appearance to your skin.
  • Early wrinkles.
  • Skin spots.

Skin Cancer

In the United States, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. It is also the most preventable cancer.

Excess sun exposure is the most significant risk factor for skin cancer, and we’re about to share UV safety hacks to reduce your risk. But first, let’s talk about when to use these upcoming safety tips.

When To Use UV Safety Tips

The short answer is every day. The sun and its UV rays never take a day off.

The sun’s UV rays are stronger during the Spring and Summer seasons, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. UV rays are also stronger close to the equator and at higher altitudes.

UV rays are still present in the Fall and Winter. You might be surprised to learn that UV rays can break through clouds on a cloudy day. You can be exposed to stronger UV rays when they bounce off surfaces such as pavement, sand, snow, and water in any season.

Now that you know the why and when let’s discuss tips for preventing sunburn and long-term eye and skin damage!

How To Protect Yourself from UV Rays

Getting outside has multiple benefits, like improving mood, reducing stress, and being physically active. With these four UV safety hacks, you can get all these benefits more safely.


Here’s how to select and wear sunscreen like a pro:

  • Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad spectrum means it protects your skin against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Opt for water-resistant sunscreens. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen, but water-resistant sunscreens will last a little longer when swimming and sweating. Remember to reapply it at least every two hours or when you get out of the water or sweat heavily to maintain your protection.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30.
  • Apply sunscreen daily to exposed skin, even in the winter and on cloudy days.
  • Apply enough sunscreen. Each application should be about two ounces, the amount it would take to fill a shot glass.
  • Look for skincare products that include SPF protection. Remember that this is extra protection, not a replacement for everyday sunscreen.
  • If you have fine or thinning hair, apply sunscreen to your scalp.


Tips for the perfect eye-protecting sunglasses:

  • Look for sunglasses with a UV 400 rating to block more than 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose larger, wraparound frames to shield your eyes from UV rays better.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, ask your eye doctor for prescription sunglasses with a UV 400 rating.
  • If you are skiing, choose ski goggles with UV protection. Some of the strongest UV rays reflect off snow and water.
  • Wear sunglasses every day to protect your eyes even on cold or cloudy days.

Protective Clothing

Gear up for the sun:

  • Wear a wide-brim hat to shield your ears, face, and neck from the sun.
  • Wear protective clothing like lightweight, tight-weaved, long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin in the summer.
  • Consider clothing with an SPF rating.

Limit Exposure

Don’t overdo it:

  • Limit your time in the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are stronger.
  • Seek shade when you’re outside for extended lengths of time. Remember that UV rays are present even when you are staying in the shade.

Put these UV safety tips into practice, and your eyes and skin will thank you!

Turn to MainStreet Family Care

Struggling with a sunburn or have concerns about skin damage? MainStreet Family Care urgent care services can help you heal and feel better fast!

Register online to visit one of our clinics near you. You can wait from home or in your car until we’re ready to see you. We’ll text you when it’s time to head to the clinic.

We also accept walk-ins! However, please be aware that walk-ins join the same queue as those who register online and may experience longer in-clinic wait time.