Summer is here! And that means swimming, boating, water skiing, and soaking up all the sunshine you can before it’s gone. Make sure, however, you don’t forget about your skin! Use these tips to ensure summer stays fun and keep your skin worry-free:
1. Know your skin sensitivity.
Everyone reacts differently to the sun. We all have that friend with gorgeous olive skin who is magically ten shades darker after laying out for fifteen minutes. Some of us on the paler end of the spectrum need to be aware of how much sun our skin can handle. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the U.S. It takes only one blistering childhood burn to create the harmful cells that can cause it. Understanding how easily you burn and increasing your tan gradually might just save your life.
2. Eat your fruits and veggies.
Eating healthy may be one of the best things you could do for your body. Whole fruits and vegetables contain essential antioxidants that are constantly detoxifying your body. This allows your cells to bulk up with healing resources and prepare for all types of outdoor summer adventures. Eating an apple in the morning along with a little broccoli at night can protect against sun damage and may help keep that sunburn at bay.
3. Stay hydrated.
In case you haven’t heard, our bodies run on water! Making up more than half of what we’re made of, H2O is essential to keeping our bodies running and repairing at top speed. Staying hydrated on a hot summer day will not only keep you standing, but it will also hydrate your skin and help protect against sunburn. Get your daily recommended eight glasses a day, and you can keep summer going for as long as you want.
4. Cover-up when you can.
The easiest way to avoid sun damage is to stop UV rays before they even get to your skin. There are a few fashion choices you might consider if trying to avoid sunlight. Wearing a hat offers protection for the usually forgotten scalp and ears, a hat also shades the face from direct light. And don’t be fooled by shade; if you’re trying to avoid UV rays altogether you should know they are able to penetrate clouds and are transferred to you from reflective surfaces, such as sand or concrete. It might be easiest to avoid the mid-day sun (10 am – 4 pm), and to wear darker, thicker fabrics to ensure a formidable barrier between you and the sun’s rays.
5. Get the right sunglasses.
Turn your quirky sunglasses into your best defense against crows feet. Some of the thinnest skin on your body is found around your eye, making this area essential to cover when out in the sun. Long-term sun exposure causes the outer layers of our skin to get thinner while making the inner layers thicker. This is what causes skin to lose its plumpness and start to sag. Most prone to these consequences are the eyes. Protect them by purchasing a large pair of glasses that cover the whole area, and make sure your lenses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.
6. Forget the tanning bed.
If you don’t live near the ocean, you may be familiar with a tanning bed. Formerly thought of as a solution to long, pale, winter months and a quick base tan for summer, it has now acquired a new reputation. Tanning beds utilize UVB rays, as opposed to the UVA rays found in the sun, to help protect their clients against burns. Studies now show that UVB rays are just as harmful as UVA rays (if not more so). Since they are able to penetrate deeper levels of skin, they increase signs of premature aging and your chances of contracting skin cancer.
7. Rebuild with Vitamin C.
After years of soaking up the sunshine, early signs of sun damage can start to show. You can fight these signs by utilizing the miracle working powers of Vitamin C. Also called Ascorbic Acid, it has been found to not only prevent the consequences of long-term sun exposure, but aids in producing collagen and reversing DNA damage. Vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables, and is a key ingredient in many moisturizers and serums. Vitamin C serum applied once a day can help fade dark spots caused by the sun, and start to fill in fine lines and wrinkles as it promotes the production of your skin’s collagen.
8. Keep post-skin moisturizing natural.
Moisturizing after a long beach day is a must if your skin is going to make it through the season. Fight signs of sun damage by applying Aloe Vera whenever you come inside. Not only does it cool down your skin and reduce the possibility of a sunburn, it also creates a protective barrier on your skin keeping moisture in and bacteria out. If Aloe Vera isn’t for you, try a moisturizer with Green Tea. This will only help with moderate sunburns, but fights against direct cell damage caused by the sun!
9. Wear the right sunscreen.
Sunscreen is an essential summer accessory. Make sure you’re wearing at least an SPF 15 every day, and if you’re enjoying the sunshine to its fullest, apply a fresh layer every hour. Buy only broad spectrum sunscreens, with no harsh chemicals, that provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays. If you want to use something a little more natural, try coconut oil. Considered to only have an SPF range between 4–6 it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals your skin will thrive on and it can be re-applied many times throughout the day.
10. Know your sun benefits.
Remember the sun is not your enemy! With all the negative press it gets, it’s hard to remember all the benefits we receive from the sun. Spending only 15 minutes in sunlight can fulfill your Vitamin D requirement for the day, helping to increase immunity and fight off stress. Sunlight also fights acne by destroying bacteria that may be clogging your pores. Getting a little bit of sun everyday can help your mood as well. Just remember to not overdo it, finding the right amount for your skin type.