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Your skin is the biggest organ in your body, and it functions as a protector and sensor, making it extremely important for everyday life. Because of this, taking care of your skin is essential to ensuring that it stays healthy and functional. As weather and temperatures change, your skin, and the way you need to care for your skin, also changes.

As temperatures reach their highs, it is tempting to head outside and enjoy absorbing some of the sun’s vitamin D. And while this is good for you in moderation, it is also important to know how to care for your skin properly to avoid getting skin cancer, premature aging, wrinkles, and dryness.

So how can you protect your skin this summer? Here’s a list of some of the best ways to keep from exposing your skin to harmful UV rays:

Sunscreen 

This might be the most well-known defense against UV rays, but do you know what to look for in a sunscreen to ensure that you are getting the protection that you need? Look for a sunscreen that:

-has a high SPF

-is water resistant

It is also important to make sure that you reapply sunscreen regularly, especially if you are spending time in the water or sweating.

Clothes –

Your head and shoulders are often the most vulnerable to UV rays because the sun shines directly down on them. So it is often beneficial to wear a hat and a shirt that covers your shoulders.

Sunglasses –

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned just like the rest of your body? Repeated sun damage to the eyes can cause problems later on, so it is important to wear sunglasses that have UV 400 protection.

Makeup –

Some makeups are available with built-in UV protection. This is especially helpful, as makeup can be less oily and irritating on sensitive skin. Just remember that this should be reapplied throughout the day just like regular sunscreen.

Lip Balm –

Lips often get forgotten when it comes to sun protection. However, sunburned lips can be painful and dry, and prolonged damage can cause more problems. Certain lip balms have sunscreen built in so that sun protection can be applied easily.

While it is best to be proactive and prevent sun damage before it occurs, it is also important to know the warning signs of skin cancer. If skin cancer is caught early on, it can be treated before it becomes a serious problem.

Look for moles that are not completely the same color. Melanoma may have patches of pink, red, or white.

Check the size of the spot – it shouldn’t be wider than 6 millimeters in diameter.

Usually, moles don’t change much over time. A cancerous spot, however, may change in shape or color.

If a sore doesn’t heal, or a mole suddenly becomes itchy or painful, this could be a sign of melanoma.

The signs listed above may be a cause for concern, and if you notice any of these symptoms, have the spot checked by a doctor immediately. However, melanoma does not always exhibit all of these signs, so it is important to have regular exams to screen for possible cancerous spots on the skin. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a regular old mole and melanoma, so it is always best to have a professional take a look if you are uncertain about any spots.

Enjoy your time outside this summer. Just remember to grab that bottle of sunscreen before you head out – your skin will thank you!