The sun can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be beneficial, providing a source of vitamin D and even act as a thoughtful companion on a leisurely walk. However, its effects on our skin can be rather damaging. Sun exposure has been linked to the development of wrinkles, sun spots and even skin cancer. To get the most out of your summer in the sun while still protecting your skin, follow these simple tips to stay safe.
1. Make Sun Protection Your Priority
Everyone loves the great outdoors – but it comes with a caveat. Sun exposure is incredibly damaging to your skin without proper protection, and it’s essential to .
We all know that sunscreen is essential, but it’s important to remember that there are other steps that you can take to help protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Here are some top tips for keeping your skin safe:
- Dress responsibly: Clothing is your best defense against the sun. Wear clothes that are designed to provide ultraviolet protection. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are both great options.
- Stay in the shade: If you’re going to be outside, make sure to seek out shaded areas so you can avoid direct sunlight.
- Be aware of peak times: UV radiation is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so plan your outdoor activities accordingly.
- Don’t be afraid to wear cover-ups: Scarves, hats, sunglasses – they’re all essential sun protection items.
Of course, sunscreen is still the best bet when it comes to sun protection. Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before you go outside. Reapply every two hours and always after swimming or sweating.
The effects of the sun don’t go away, so making sun protection a priority all year round is the best way to keep your skin safe. Taking the necessary steps now can help lower your risk of skin cancer and other sun-related issues in the future.
2. Develop a Skincare Strategy
Many people don’t realize that taking care of your skin involves more than just checking off items on a list. Developing a personal skincare strategy is the best way to tailor your skin’s needs in order to achieve the desired results. Here are some things to consider when crafting your skincare strategy:
- Understand Your Skin. Start by looking at your skin type and what elements it needs help with. Is your skin dry, oily, combination, or sensitive? Knowing your skin type will help you determine which ingredients and products to add to your skincare regime.
- Set Your Skincare Goals. Think about your skin’s current state, and what you want to achieve. This can include reducing wrinkles and fine lines, getting a more even skin tone, and dealing with any acne.
Once you know what your skin’s needs are and what direction you want to go in, it’s time to create an action plan. Take into consideration the products and treatments available to you, whether they’re over-the-counter options or prescribed treatments. There are many directions to go in, so don’t feel forced to take the same approach as your friends and family.
Remember that your skincare strategy should be tailored to you, so start small and gradually incorporate more effective products and treatments into your regime.
3. Knowing Your Sun Protection Choices
Nothing quite ruins a great day outdoors than a nasty sunburn. Although there’s something to be said for hoping for the best, smart sun protection is vital to living a long, healthy life. It is possible to soak up the sun comfortably and safely with the right gear.
The Best Sun Protection Clothing and Accessories: Dressing sensibly while enjoying the outdoors is the first step in shielding yourself from the sun. Consider wearing the following items:
- Wide-brimmed hats
- Clothing made of synthetic fabrics, which are lightweight and designed to wick away moisture
- Beach cover-ups
- Sunglasses with 100% UV protection
The more skin you can cover in clothing, the less exposed you’ll be to the UV rays, so don’t be afraid to cover up on especially sunny days. However, if it’s too hot outside for long sleeves or pants, the good news is that you still have other ways to protect your health.
Sun Protection Lotions and Sprays: Sunscreens come in a variety of forms, such as lotions, aerosols, and creams. All should be applied at least 15 minutes before going outdoors, the FDA warns, and should be re-applied every two hours for complete coverage. Lotions and creams stay on better, so use these for long days in the sun. But if you’re cooling off in water, an aerosol is preferred so as not to wash away. Keep in mind, though, that it’s always a good idea to double down and wear a hat as well.
4. Practicing Self-Care in the Sun
At sunny times, we often spend a lot of time outside to get enough of the vitamin D our bodies need. But what we should be aware of is that too much sun can be damaging to our skin. We need to make sure that we’re practicing good habits that will keep us safe from the sun, while also ensuring we’re still able to enjoy its benefits.
Here are some steps on how to practice self-care while out in the sun:
- Stay Hydrated: Make sure to drink enough fluids, especially if it’s a very hot day, to avoid heat stroke
- Protect Skin: Wear broad spectrum sunscreen when you plan to be in the sun, with a sun protection factor of at least 30.
- Limit Sun Exposure: Avoid being in direct sunlight for more than 15 minutes, as it can be damaging to the skin.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing: Keep covered with clothing or accessories like hats, and seek shade when needed.
Enjoying the sun is a great way to help us stay healthy, but we also need to keep our health and safety boundaries in mind. We’re in control of our own skin health, so let’s make sure to take good care of it while out in the sun!
5. Boost Your Sun Safety Knowledge
The summer is an incredible time to enjoy the great outdoors or plan a spontaneous road trip. However, it is also the time to take extra care when it comes to sun safety. Here are five tips to keep your skin safe from the head-to-toe.
1. Wear Sunscreen – Invest in a good sunscreen that offers the highest amount of protections with broad-spectrum UV coverage. Look for the highest SPF rating possible and check the expiration date before applying it. Re-apply it every few hours even on cloudy days for maximum protection.
2. Dress the part – Covering up with lightweight clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and designer sunglasses will help minimize damage to exposed areas. Hats are especially important for protecting your neck, ears, and scalp.
3. Timing matters – As much as possible, try to stay indoors and avoid the midday sun when its rays are the strongest. The hours from 10am-4pm are when the sun is most hazardous.
4. Ditch tanning beds – Tanning beds give you the equivalent of 15 minutes in the midday sun for each 10 minutes session,which increases your chances of developing melanoma.
It’s also important for children to take care in the sun, too. Kids can develop skin cancer years later, so a few extra steps are needed to provide them with enough protection:
- Apply sunscreen a few times throughout the day
- Check the expiration date before using
- Encourage wearing hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing
- Stay in the shade or indoors when the sun is strongest
- Make sure to use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher
Stay informed about sun safety and take necessary precautions to protect your skin from those dreaded UV rays. This way, you can enjoy all the summertime fun without any of the sun damage.
Follow these simple tips to keep your skin healthy and protected year-round, the sun can be your friend if you practice safe sun exposure. In the end, there’s no better way to make sure you’re prepared for the brightness of life than by being vigilant in protecting yourself from the sun. Enjoy the sun safely and responsibly, and keep yourself safe from its damaging effects for many years to come.