You probably have plans to spend time in the sun this summer — at the beach, the pool, or a barbecue. After all, who can resist a warm sunny day? You are probably already aware that too much sun exposure can lead to skin problems and even, potentially, skin cancer, but you may not realize it can indirectly affect your vein health, as well. While exposure doesn’t directly cause varicose veins, it can lead to damage, wear, and tear that can lead to varicose and spider veins over time. That’s just one more reason to protect your skin with these tips:

1. Avoid the peak hours of the day.
The sun tends to be at its hottest and most harmful between 10 am and 4 pm. If you are on vacation, use this time for indoor activities like a movie, shopping, dining out, or visiting a museum.

2. Be wise with your sunscreen.
Apply an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen approximately half an hour before you go outside, even on cloudy days. Make sure the one you choose offers both UVA and UVB radiation protection (usually called a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen), and that it’s water-resistant for when you swim or sweat. Keep in mind that water-resistant does not mean waterproof. Reapply every two hours or more often if you do get wet.

3. Protect your skin with clothing and accessories.
While it’s tempting to wear as little as possible during the warm summer months, long cotton sleeves and pants can protect your skin from the sun. Just make sure what you wear is cool and loose enough to prevent you from overheating. Take advantage of hats and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes, as well.

4. Skip the sunbathing.
Tan skin looks amazing, but laying out in the sun for hours to get it can lead to health problems and premature aging. Sun lamps and tanning beds are also dangerous. Invest in a quality tanning cream or lotion that won’t wear off in the water. You can also consider a spray tan to get that gorgeous glow.

5. Keep an eye on the weatherman.
Your local weather should give you an idea of how safe it is to go outside each day. Pay close attention to the UV Index. If it’s between 1 and 10, you can go outside with precautions. If it’s over 10, you may want to pick indoor activities that day.
6. Be careful when you are around water and sand.
Water and sand can reflect the sun’s rays back towards you, making them twice as strong. Take extra precautions to protect your skin when you are at the beach or in the pool, lake, or ocean.

7. Seek the shade.
If you must be outdoors during those hottest parts of the day, find a shady spot under a tree or in the shadow of a building. Take an umbrella to the beach or pool, or even consider carrying a small parasol when you walk.

8. Use products with an SPF.
Beyond your sunscreen, look for makeup, moisturizers, lotions, and other beauty products that offer some sort of sun protection. You can also apply sunscreen before you complete your regular makeup routine.

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