Whether you’re prone to sunburns or tanning is your second nature—the sun can be dangerous. 

Exposure to UV rays is the leading cause of skin damage. While a little vitamin D is great in moderation, there are some precautions everyone should implement when outdoors. If you’re looking to take better care of your body’s largest organ, follow these five tips for protecting your skin from the sun!

#1 Don’t Skimp on SPF

Not to sound like an overprotective mom, but don’t forget your sunblock!

Though nobody likes to admit it, moms were right about sun protection (among many other things). While most people wear their sunscreen at the beach, you may not be using SPF as much as you should. 

UVA rays commonly cause sunburns, making them more detectable by humans. Unfortunately, these rays have a dangerous sibling: UVB rays. Even on cloudy days and during winter months, these powerful UVB rays can reach your skin and penetrate the dermis and epidermis. UVB rays are responsible for skin cancer and premature aging—two things everyone could live without.

Keep your skin safe by applying a topical SPF 30 or higher every day (yes, every day). This is particularly important for your face, so make sure to invest in a quality SPF product that won’t cause breakouts.

#2 Sport Your Sun Hat

SPF only blocks 98% of the sun’s rays. This number decreases every 2 hours and even more so when the skin gets wet.

If you don’t want to stress about reapplying layer upon layer of sunscreen, you may want to start rocking a hat on sunny days! Sun hats provide shade for your face and neck, some of the most vulnerable parts of the body when it comes to sun damage.

A sun hat will also protect the skin on your scalp, a place where many people prefer to skip out on sunblock. Get your protection in a ton of different styles, with sun hats for girls, boys, and adults!

#3 Get Your Vitamin A

You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes, but did you know that they’re also great for the skin?

The compound known as beta-carotene causes the bright orange color in carrots, squash, and pumpkins. Beta-carotene turns to vitamin A when processed by the body. 

Vitamin A has tons of benefits for the skin, including:

  • Collagen production
  • Strengthens the dermis and epidermis
  • Adds moisture to the skin
  • Boosts resistance to the sun

Though swapping your sunscreen for baby carrots isn’t recommended, those who suffer from frequent sunburns may need to up their vitamin A consumption! Try drinking carrot juice every morning for an easy way to get your beta-carotene fix.

#4 And Your Vitamin C

The vitamin train doesn’t stop at A.

Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties, but it also protects your skin. Damage from the sun can form free radicals in the deeper layers of the skin. Free radicals are loose particles that can cause cell damage and even cancer. 

The antioxidants in vitamin C help fight these free radicals and promote healthier skin. Not only will your body benefit from more vitamin C, but so will your appearance. Vitamin C can promote:

  • Brighter skin
  • Lightening of sunspots
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles 

Eating your fruits and veggies will add vitamin C to your diet; however, a topical serum is the best way for your skin to soak up all the benefits!

#5 Protect Your Eyes, Too

Sunglasses aren’t just for style; they also protect your eyes from the giant ball of gas we rely on for life on this planet. UV exposure can damage the delicate structures in your corneas and even cause a sunburn on the surface of your eyes (ouch!).

Your eyelids are also made up of the thinnest skin on the human body, making them especially vulnerable to sun damage. In order to protect this delicate area, opt for polarized sunglasses that will filter out the sun’s harmful rays.

Show Your Skin Some Love

Your skin works hard to protect your body. Return the favor with a little protection!

Remember to take the proper precautions when facing extended periods of sun exposure. You can still enjoy your summer days—just be smart about it.