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Summer travel tips: How to save your skin while catching rays

Aug 1, 2012, 8:32 a.m.

One of the most enjoyable things about a summer vacation is being able to spend time outdoors, reading by the lake, boating, water skiing or walking along the beach. However, all that sun can be damaging to your skin, and those of us over 50 are especially vulnerable. Do you have to forgo all those outdoor activities? Not if you follow a few simple steps:

  1. Avoid peak sun hours. The sun's rays are the most intense between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Avoiding being outside during those hours will help protect your skin from the strongest sun rays. Besides, the beach is less crowded in the early morning and late afternoon.
  2. Bring the right gear. For maximum protection from UV rays, make sure that you wear a wide-brimmed hat and sun glasses that are designed to filter UV rays. (Not all sunglasses, especially the less expensive ones, will do this.)
  3. Lather up. Choosing the proper suntan lotion is also critical. Look for sun skin protections with SPF ratings of at least 15. This number means that you can stay in the sun 15 times longer without burning that if you wore no sunscreen.
  4. Watch your medications. Some medicines make your skin increasingly sensitive to the sun's rays. Make sure to read your prescription labels before you venture out in the sun.

Keeping your skin healthy on vacation isn't impossible. It just takes a little care. So, enjoy your time away from home and all of the outdoor activities that go along with it. Just be careful.

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