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Summer Sun Protection Guide

Summer Sun Protection Guide

Anybody who knows me knows how serious I am about sun protection. While I’m a stickler for sunscreen year-round (yes, even when it’s cloudy!), I’m especially vocal about sun protection during the long, sunny summer months.

5 Sun Protection Tips for Summer

Even if you aren’t religiously reapplying sunscreen every two hours as recommended, there are still some things you can do to help save your skin from burning and premature aging. Use this guide to help you protect your skin and body, especially during this hot summer season.

1. Wear a hat (the bigger the better!).

I have a collection of hats that ranges from regular baseball caps to a sun hat with a brim so wide it’s practically a one-person tent. I’m proud of that one, despite the looks I get.

Hats are a great way to protect your scalp, face, and shoulders from damaging sun rays. You can even get ones with UPF protection (UPF is how sun protection is measured for fabrics) for extra insurance against burning.

Here’s one of my favorites:


Coolibar Stella Sun Hat Simplicity Wide-brim Sun Visor

Coolibar Stella Sun Hat Simplicity Wide-brim Sun Visor, $36


2. Treat your clothes with UPF laundry additive.

UPF clothing is often expensive, and most of it is geared toward sports or outdoor activities. This means that the available options aren’t always stylish or appropriate for fun summer outings.

To get around this, I use Sun Guard on the summer outfits I wear most often. Sun Guard is a simple additive you can dump into a load of laundry that gives your clothes a boost of UPF 30 protection.

This isn’t a perfect replacement for body sunscreen (wear sunscreen!), but it’s a good alternative on days when you forget to apply or are unexpectedly outdoors.

Nakoma Prod-Phoenix Rit Dye Sun Guard

Nakoma Prod-Phoenix Rit Dye Sun Guard, $8


3. Plan your outdoor activities around the sun.

If possible, the American Cancer Society and American Academy of Dermatology recommend limiting your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because this is the time when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Not only is it hotter then, but there’s also a much higher chance of burning.

If you know you’ll be outside during that time, be sure to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and protective gear like a hat or a UPF umbrella.

Anuschka Umbrella Auto Open/Close UPF 50+

Anuschka Umbrella Auto Open/Close UPF 50+


4. Hydrate, and then keep hydrating.

the best summer sun protection is hydration.

None of us are drinking enough water, especially in the summer when we’re sweating more than usual. If you’re notoriously bad at staying hydrated, my recommendation is to splurge on a pretty, leakproof water bottle that you’ll be excited to carry around.

I also rely more on hydration supplements like Liquid I.V. in the summer months. They provide electrolytes and minerals that are lost via sweating, and I always feel better after adding one to my water bottle!


5. Find a sunscreen you actually like.

For a long time, I thought all sunscreens were sticky, greasy, smelly and a pain to apply. Turns out, I was just using the wrong sunscreens!

For pool, beach, or outdoor exercise, I stick with the cheap sunscreens you can find at any drugstore. However, for daily use, I spring for the pricier, more cosmetically elegant formulas. Finding a sunscreen you like means you won’t avoid wearing it daily, so the extra cost is worth it.

Many Korean and Japanese brands make excellent sunscreens that can be worn under makeup or even in place of base makeup on good skin days. Additionally, Eucerin, Aveeno, and even Coppertone have released new formulas that apply like thin, clear lotion and leave no stickiness, white cast, or unappealing smell behind.

Canmake Mermaid Skin UV Gel 

Canmake Mermaid Skin UV Gel, $13

Aveeno Protect and Hydrate SPF 60

Aveeno Protect and Hydrate SPF 60, $17


Do you really need to use sun protection?

As the saying goes, “Protection is better than cure.” It is easy to shy away from using sun protection when there’s no visible damage on your skin caused by the harmful UV rays. But there’s no better time than doing it now. Trust us, your skin and body will thank you for it!

Do you have any summer sun tips I didn’t include? Let me know in the comments!


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Image credit: Sebastian Staines on Unsplash

Nicole Hopkins

Nicole Hopkins is a freelance writer for hire that has been sharing her passion for health, wellness and yoga since 2014. When she's not working on getting into crow pose or petting every cat in sight, you can find her writing about science, skincare and mental health at and Kalista Edit. Visit her at or on Instagram at @msmerriam.


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