Perhaps you’re already an avid morning jogger or evening biker. Or maybe – now that the heat of another Florida summer has passed, and temperatures are cooling – an early morning or evening stroll sounds refreshing. If you are out when the sun is rising or setting, you may have wondered: do you still need to wear sunscreen? We have the answers below!
Early Morning and Evening Sun
You’ve likely heard that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are strongest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and that you should avoid excessive sun exposure during those times. However, the sun still emits UV rays outside of peak daylight hours, even as early as 6-8 a.m. and as late as 4-6 p.m. That means you still need to wear sunscreen in the early morning and evening hours to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.
UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburns, are weaker but still dangerous outside of peak daylight hours. That means it’s 100% possible for you to get a sunburn while you’re out swimming at 7 a.m. or taking a walk at 5:30 p.m. UVA rays, which are responsible for premature skin aging, maintain the same intensity during all daylight hours. That means you’re at high risk of developing fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots anytime you’re outside. Finally, both types of UV rays increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Sun Care Tips
You don’t need to give up your early morning and evening outdoor activities to avoid the sun’s harmful rays. But you do need to take appropriate steps to protect your skin from the sun, no matter what time of day it is. Even if sunlight looks and feels weaker in the morning and evening, it can still cause significant damage.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Before you step outside, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater to all areas of exposed skin. We also recommend choosing a waterproof product, especially if you expect to sweat a lot.
- Cover up. Cover as much skin as possible with long pants and long-sleeved t-shirts. Choose a breathable fabric like cotton to stay comfortable in Florida’s warm and humid climate. And don’t forget a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your head, face, and eyes.
- Seek shady areas. If you’re outside walking, running, or biking in the morning or evening, seek out shady areas when possible.
Call FLDSCC for All Your Skin Care Needs
At Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers, we’re here to make sure you have healthy skin year-round! Call us today to make an appointment for an annual examination or skin cancer screening.