Basking in the rays of the sun is one of my favorite summertime activities; however, while this pastime is relaxing, not using the right protection can be hazardous to my skin and health. 

Protect Your Skin From the Sun for LessThis season I've taken the initiative to keep my skin safe, and contrary to popular belief, it's not too expensive to keep your skin safe from the harmful rays, if you know what to look for. 

Sunscreen:  Wearing sunscreen is best known way to protect your skin from sun damage. Make sure to apply sunscreen with a sun protection with a high factor (SPF) before you venture outdoors, to help protect against ultraviolet ray exposure.  According to www.wedmd.com, you'll want a sunscreen with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVA and UVB.  It's also important that the sunscreen is waterproof and sweatproof.

There are many brands of sunscreen and some are more expensive than others, so pick a brand you trust and make sure it meets all of the above requirements.  To get the best bang for your buck I suggest you buy a value size and use it all summer long.  This is the approach I took and I'm not even halfway through the bottle (and I use a lot of sunscreen).  I also prefer the spray-on brands, because I feel I use less with each application and it covers more thoroughly.  Buying a large value size, spray-on brand probably saved me about $20 this summer and that makes me quite happy.  To find a value size brand of sunscreen, check your local wholesale store like CostCo or Sam's Club.

Hats:  Wearing a hat is a terrific way to protect your head and face from harmful sun exposure.  Check your local drug store or dollar store for beach hats.  I see them in almost every store I go to, some for as low as $5.  I bought mine at a Wal-Mart and it was only $8.  It's great for when I'm sunning by the pool or doing some gardening.  If you don't want a beach hat, ball-caps and visors are great protectors as well.  

Shade:  Whenever you're in the sun for long periods of time, it's important to find some shade every so often.  Whether it's under a tree, indoors, or under an umbrella, it's important to take some time out of the sun and chill out.  The best thing about shade is that's it's free!  So, whenever you find shade in the hot summer sun, take advantage of it.

There are many other ways to protect yourself from the sun, such as wearing protective clothing and staying indoors on a hot summer day, but when those aren't an option, then follow the steps above and you should be a-ok!  In total, I spent $23 on my sun protection and that's all I'm planning to spend, which I think is amazing!  Just remember to be smart and safe and you will be saving your skin and money in no time!

What are some ways you protect your skin from the sun for less?  Please, share with us all of your helpful tips and tricks.

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Mary StolarikMary Stolarik

Mary is a contributing writer for the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, A Straight Talk on Debt. She is a recent college graduate, with an English Writing degree from the University of Pittsburgh - Greensburg, and she's in debt. Mary shares her experiences whils job hunting, managing her finances while only working part-time and saving for a wedding! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Read more posts by Mary under the Just Graduated & Starting Out blog.

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