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Article: How to Make Sun Protection a Daily Habit

How to Make Sun Protection a Daily Habit

We've all experienced that instant when we wake up and make a firm commitment to adopt a healthy habit. For some, it could be as straightforward as increasing water intake, eating better, or forming a new workout routine, while for others, it may involve enhancing their skincare routine.

This is why our founder, Jamie, established Solmate – to craft UPF 50+ clothing that people would genuinely choose to incorporate into their daily lives. 

Making sun protection a daily habit is essential for maintaining healthy skin and preventing sun damage. When introducing a new habit, we're big fans of the 'habit stacking' technique. It can help to connect a new habit with another kind of ritualistic habit you already do.

Habit stacking is a technique used to build new habits by associating them with existing, well-established habits. The idea is to "stack" a new behavior on top of a habit you already perform regularly. This method leverages the convenience and consistency of an existing routine to make it easier to adopt a new behavior.

Here's how habit stacking works and how it relates to forming a new habit:

Identify Your Existing Habits: Begin by making a list of habits you already do consistently in your daily life. These can be things like brushing your teeth, having a morning coffee, or taking a daily walk.

Choose the New Habit: Decide on the new habit you want to form. It should be specific, achievable, and related to your existing routine. For example, if you want to begin working out daily, that can be your new habit. In the case of making sun protection a daily ritual, your new habit would be incorporating UPF and SPF into your daily routine.

Pair the Habits: Now, find a suitable spot within your existing routine to insert the new habit. For example, if you want to start incorporating UPF and SPF into your daily routine, and you already take a daily walk, you can stack the new habit by deciding to get dressed in your UPF clothing and apply SPF immediately before taking your daily walk.

Create a Trigger: The existing habit acts as a trigger for the new habit. When you automatically walk every day, it triggers you to get dressed in your UPF clothing and apply SPF immediately beforehand.

Repeat Consistently: The key to habit stacking is repetition. Consistently perform the new habit immediately before or after the established one. For example, establish your suncare routine at the same place, at the same time, everyday. Create repetition so that it becomes almost automatic.

Track Your Progress: Keep track of your efforts and celebrate your successes. This can help reinforce the habit and motivate you to continue. 

Here's a few more tips on how to incorporate consistent sun protection into your daily routine:

Choose the Right Products: Invest in sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for daily use. Look for broad-spectrum protection that shields against both UVA and UVB rays. Incorporate Solmate's UPF 50+ clothing to provide an extra layer of defense against harmful UV rays. For the overachivers, we love our Sun Sets that provide full coverage from the sun.

Morning Ritual: Make sunscreen application a part of your morning routine. After cleansing your face and doing your AM skincare routine, apply sunscreen to your face, neck, ears, the back of your hands, and any body parts exposed to the sun.

Reapply Throughout the Day: Sunscreen wears off, and needs to be reapplied every two hours. Carry a travel-sized sunscreen in your bag or car for easy access.

Seek Shade: Whenever possible, stay in the shade during peak sun hours, typically from 10 AM to 4 PM. Shade is an excellent complement to sunscreen.

Educate Yourself: Learn about the UV Index and use it as a guide to gauge the sun's intensity in your area. Adjust your sun protection efforts accordingly.

Make It a Family Affair: Encourage your family members, especially children, to practice sun safety. Lead by example, and make applying sunscreen a fun and educational activity.

Regular Skin Checks: Perform regular skin checks to monitor for any changes in moles or unusual skin growths. Early detection of skin issues is crucial for timely treatment.

Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin healthy and hydrated, making it less susceptible to sun damage.

Year-Round Commitment: Sun protection isn't just for summertime. UV rays can harm your skin year-round, so make it a year-round habit.

Consult a Dermatologist: If you have concerns about your skin or sun exposure, consult a dermatologist. They can provide personalized advice and perform skin checks to detect any potential issues.

One of the main challenges in establishing a healthy habit is the lack of immediate rewards. Typically, we gravitate toward actions that provide instant gratification. That's why there is such a big gap between what we should be doing and what we actually do.

However, when striving to make daily sun protection a consistent habit, it's essential to focus on the long-term benefits. Even though you may not observe immediate results, these advantages will become apparent over time. If you can muster the patience to adhere to sun protection practices like wearing UPF clothing and applying SPF consistently, you'll eventually witness the payoff in the form of youthful, healthier-looking skin when you look in the mirror years from now.

By integrating these routines into your daily life, you can safely enjoy the sun and ensure that your skin remains vibrant and healthy for years to come.