The Best Ways to Prevent a Sunburn That Don't Involve Staying Inside


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Sometimes no matter how much sunscreen you slather on, you end up with an annoying (and at times, painful) sunburn. Yes, there are products to relieve or soothe it, but how about avoiding sun damage in the first place? According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), although the redness and pain will eventually go away, sunburns "can cause long-standing damage to the skin. This damage increases a person's risk for getting skin cancer, making it critical to protect the skin from the sun."

So how can you avoid a sunburn without being forced to stay inside when the weather is sunny and beautiful? We've rounded up some practical and useful tips.

Know the Sun's Peak Hours


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"The sun is extremely strong, not just from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., believe it or not," says Julie Karen, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. With that in mind, make sure you're seeking shade every now and then, applying enough sunscreen, and wearing sun-protective clothing.

Choose Your Sunscreen Carefully

Apply… Then Reapply

Don't Underestimate Cloudy Days

Wear Protective Clothing


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019. In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.