In yoga practice, we regularly practice Sun Salutations to thank the sun for its life-giving energy, warmth, and light. While we can be grateful for all the beautiful things the sun gives us, we should also be aware of the damage it can cause. Exposure to UV rays from the sun can cause premature wrinkles, sunburn, and skin cancer. Feel free to continue to salute the sun, but remember to protect yourself from it too!
1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Be sure to wear sunscreen and encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to wear it too. Slather up every day you plan to be outside – the sun’s rays can be dangerous, even on cloudy days. Apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before you go outside, and reapply every two hours going forward. Plan on using broad- or multi-spectrum SPF 30 or higher for daily use to combat both UVB and UVA rays. Women with darker skin also need to use sunscreen every day – melanin only provides a little protection against UV rays.
Sunscreen is a great first step, but there are other ways to shield yourself from the sun. Look for clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). UPF indicates the percentage of ultraviolet rays that can penetrate through clothing to your skin. For example, UPF 50 clothing allows just 1/50th of UV radiation through to the skin, giving you solid protection. Many Soybu fabrics provide UPF 50 sun protection while remaining lightweight, moisture-wicking, and super comfortable. Our UPF is not a chemical application – it’s in the fabric – so it will last a lifetime. Our Summer 2018 Collection is chock full of great UPF 50 styles – shop now for chic sun protection! Be sure to look for Soybu PowerFLEX and StretchFLEX.
What else can you do?
- Wear a hat with a wide brim and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Avoid tanning beds and use sunless tanning lotion instead if you want a bronze glow.
- Seek out the shade on sunny days.
- And finally, go indoors when needed!
Saluting the sun is ultimately all about respecting its power – for good and for bad. Celebrating light, warmth, and love while protecting yourself from dangerous UV rays will help to keep you healthy long term.