Hayley's Healthy Habits: Sun Protection Across the Lifespan

June 28, 2024

The following article was written by Hayley Jackson, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC. A board-certified family nurse practitioner, Hayley provides Express Care Services at Wood River Health. She is passionate about holistic patient-centered care, lifestyle medicine and women’s health.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and is unfortunately on the rise. Making active efforts to protect your skin from the sun is crucial to overall health. Below is a basic guide to sun protection for all ages.

Newborns <6 Months

Newborns are at increased risk of having side effects from sunscreen therefore, it is not recommended to apply sunscreen on babies less than 6 months. For this reason, it is important to avoid sun exposure by using long brimmed hats, light clothing, covered strollers, sunglasses, and avoiding the sun especially during peak hours (10am-4pm).


Cover skin with sun protecting clothing especially at the beach. Utilize hats and sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. Ensure to reapply frequently (about every 2 hours!). Bring umbrellas to the beach, take advantage of natural shade, and opt for waterproof sunscreen when the child is in the water-ensure you reapply per the recommendations on the bottle!


Regularly use sunscreen and re-apply every 2- 4 hours. Adolescents and young adults may opt for oil-free/noncomedogenic brands that will not cause acne. Daily use of facial sunscreen can decrease premature wrinkling and prevent darkening of previous acne marks. Lotion sunscreen is more effective than spray. Don’t forget the ears, nose, and tops of the hands and feet! Use sunglasses with UV protection-especially if you have light-colored eyes. Avoid tanning and instead utilize FDA approved sunless tanning products recommended by your dermatologist for a summer glow. Use hats to protect the scalp from sun exposure.

Skin cancer is becoming more common and has a better outcome when identified early. You can make an appointment with your primary care provider or in our express care (same day access!) to assess any skin concerns you have and get a referral to a dermatologist if needed.


This article is not intended to treat, diagnose, or manage anyone’s physical or psychiatric health. This article is intended to create discussion, create community, and inform. Please discuss your specific health and psychiatric concerns with your personalized team of professionals or emergency services if you feel this is appropriate.


Centers for disease control and prevention. (2023, 5 1). Sun exposure. CDC yellow book 2024. exposure#:~:text=Parents%20or%20guardians%20should%20prot ect,%2Dbrimmed%20hats%2C%20and%20sunglasses.