The summer sun isn’t fun when it causes sunburns and dehydration, potentially risking painful rashes, heat stroke and skin cancer. That’s why it’s important to know how to properly apply sunscreen and stay hydrated to best beat the heat.

Sometimes the sun isn’t fun

Sunscreens, when applied properly, protect against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, UVA and UVB, helping prevent sunburn, early aging and possibly even skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. But the trick is applying them properly.

Here are some common mistakes:

  1. Applying too little sunscreen
  2. Not using it as often as you should
  3. Washing it off by accident

To apply sunscreen most effectively, you should apply about an ounce of sunscreen, or a shot glass full, according to the Centers for Disease Control. When at the beach, the park, the woods or anywhere else you might catch a few rays, you should reapply sunscreen, at least sun protection factor (SPF) 15, every two hours to make sure you stay protected. This protection is especially important between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sunshine is at its strongest. Likewise, water or sweat may cut short the effectiveness of sunscreen as no sunscreen is waterproof, just water resistant. So, if you’re going for a dip, check the label for how often you should reapply after swimming.

To help prevent a sunburn, you should make sure the sunscreen covers all exposed skin, including your nose, feet and back, or you may find yourself with sunburnt patches.

Sunscreen is just a part of sun safety

Combine sunscreen with other techniques such as limiting the time you are in direct sunlight by using shade and possibly wearing lightweight clothing, such as a T-shirt. A wide-brimmed hat can help protect the ears and hairline, which can be especially important for those with thinning hair.

Current research suggests that the human body absorbs some of the chemicals of sunscreen into the bloodstream, although the effects of the chemicals on the body is currently unknown.

Drink water early, drink water often

With higher temperatures and activity levels, you’re at a greater risk of dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Although the Centers for Disease Control doesn’t offer a specific amount of water per day, it does say that if you’re working outside in the heat you should drink 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

Checking for dehydration is easy. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink water before going outside to help beat dehydration and its symptoms, which can include restlessness, clouded thinking, mood changes, constipation, dry mouth, lethargy, weak or absent pulse, and low blood pressure.

Whether you’re at the beach catching some rays or working hard on a summer job, make sure to stay safe, stay covered, and stay hydrated.

SafeBee Top Three

  1. Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen every two hours, more often when sweating or swimming

  2. Cover all of those hard-to-reach spots with sunscreen

  3. Drink plenty of water to prevent the effects of dehydration when working or playing in the heat