Now that the sunny season has finally arrived, it is essential to protect your eyes. The summer sun comes with risks not only to your skin but your eyes too! Here are some tips to help keep your eyes safe:
1. Wear sunglasses whenever you go into the sun!
Not all sunglasses are created equal! Make sure your sunnies have 100% UV protection.
Go for oversized shades - the wider the lens, the greater the protection.
Have a backup pair on hand. Sunglasses are easily lost or broken, so it is a good idea to have a backup pair ready to go! It will also save you from buying an expensive emergency pair that you don’t even like from the hotel gift shop (this is specific to me and has happened more than once - I can’t be the only one!) OR you can be the awesome friend who lends a pair to your friend who forgets hers at home (I am both friends!)
Use whenever outside - even on a cloudy day! Rays can pass through clouds, so sun protection is necessary even when there is cloud cover.
2. Wear a hat or visor.
While sunglasses offer the first line of defence, it is always better to wear a hat or visor for that extra protection.
This is especially important if you are in the midday sun or an area with direct sunlight without shade (such as the beach).
If you are exercising outside during the summer, a hat will help catch sweat to prevent it from running into your eyes or making your sunscreen come off your face.
Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for adequate protection! This should be part of your morning routine year-round - please please please wear sunscreen every day.
Most sunscreen is safe to use on and around the eyelid region. However, be careful about what type of sunscreen you use as this area is delicate and sensitive. Always opt for fragrance-free sunscreens. Mineral formulas made with zinc or titanium dioxide are good for sensitive skin and will not sting if it runs into your eyes.
Remember to reapply every 2-3 hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Stick sunscreens work well for topping up around the eyes because it is not runny and is easy to apply on the go. Some products can be applied without ruining makeup, such as tinted mineral powders.
If you get sunscreen in your eye, flush it with clean water as soon as possible (it may sting but will not cause permanent damage).
It should not be your only line of defence! As mentioned, sunglasses with 100% UV protection and hats help shade the face and keep the sun out of your eyes.
4. Stay hydrated.
I am sure I am not the first person to tell you this, but make sure you are drinking enough water! You need between 2-3 litres a day to prevent dehydrated eyes and skin.
The more time you spend outdoors and the more active you are, the more water you need, especially when exercising in hot and humid weather as your body will sweat more.
Dry Eyes can often be a symptom of overall systemic dehydration. Increasing the amount of water you drink can help ensure that your eyes can produce enough of the watery component of your tears to make a difference in many dry eye cases.
5. Limit exposure to the sun when it is most intense.
UV intensity increases at higher altitudes, so no matter the season, always protect your eyes while skiing, snowboarding and hiking.
Try to stick in the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun is the strongest.
Be extra careful around reflective surfaces such as water, snow and sand. The sun’s rays reflect off of these surfaces so that they hit your eyes and skin a second time.
Take precautions, but get outside to soak in all the benefits of sunshine and summer fun. Stay safe and enjoy!