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While all sun exposure will cause some degree of damage to your skin, timing your sun exposure intelligently can help minimize that damage. The best time to enjoy the sun is in the early morning or late afternoon. The sun is strongest between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, and sun exposure during these hours can quickly burn even protected skin. If you must be in the sun between 10 and 4, sit in the shade as often as possible and be sure to use protective sun screen and clothing. Remember the "shadow rule": if your shadow is smaller than you or is non-existent, take sun precautions by seeking shade or covering up. If your shadow is longer than you are, the sun's rays are not as damaging as they are during their peak hours, but you should still wear a sunscreen with and SPF of at least 15.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|