The UV Index is the measurement of the ultraviolet rays that are hitting the Earth, and it’s a guide to let you know the sun’s intensity on a particular day. If you go to the EPA Sunwise site, you can enter in your zip code or city, and it will give you your city’s reading. The UV Index goes from 1 to 11 (not to be confused with the movie “Spinal Tap”), with 1 being the least amount of sun, and 11 the most. I watch the news every day, and they show the UV Index during the weather report, but not all cities do this. I stay out of the sun for the most part, and wear a good sunscreen when I do go out, but I know not everyone is a sun-phobe! Here’s a quick rundown on how to read the UV Index:
2 or less – LOW
It’s safe to be outside, but wear SPF 15+ if you burn easily, or are outside for more than a half hour.
Wear SPF 15+, and seek shade during midday hours. Wear sunglasses!
Definitely wear SPF 15+, and don’t stay out during midday hours. Wear sunglasses and possibly a hat.
8-10 VERY HIGH
Wear SPF 30+ if you must be outside, and try to avoid the sun completely from 10am-4pm. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
Wear SPF 30+ but try to avoid the sun completely. Wear a hat and sunglasses, and stay in the shade if you do go outside!
Sand, snow and water are highly reflective and can make you burn faster, so take extra precaution! Also make sure to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours.
I wear sunscreen every day, but if the UV Index is above 5, I try to stay indoors as much as possible! I used to have a little gadget that would tell me the UV Index, but I haven’t used it in a while.