With the peak of summer sun upon us, we take to the outdoors and prolong our exposure to sunlight. The extended exposure can cause serious damage to your skin, which can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging and cancer.

The best way to protect your skin while still enjoying the outdoors is to regularly apply sunscreen to any area of your body that’s exposed to the sun. It’s also important to use a sunscreen that offers the best protection for the situation you’re in. Here are five important tips you can use to protect your skin this summer:

  1. Choose a sunscreen that includes broad spectrum protection on the label. These sunscreens will protect you from both types of UV rays.
  2. Make sure that any sunscreen you use has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. A higher SPF means that more UV light is filtered out before it can reach your skin.
  3. Use water-resistant sunscreens if you’ll be swimming or sweating in the sun. Also, be sure to inspect the sunscreen’s label to see how long it lasts in the presence of water or sweat.
  4. Follow the instructions on the sunscreen’s label when applying it to your skin. You should apply the sunscreen evenly to any exposed area of your body. It generally takes 1 fluid ounce of sunscreen to cover an adult.
  5. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. You may need to reapply it more frequently if you’ve been swimming or sweating, or if it’s been rubbed off by a towel or clothing.

Use these prevention techniques while you are out in the sun:

  • Stay out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its peak in the sky.
  • Wear clothes made of tightly woven fabrics and a hat that shields your face, neck and ears.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your retinas and prevent the development of cataracts.
  • Use sunscreen that is at least SPF 15, applying it all over your body and lips.