Enjoy summer time without risking skin damage
The summer season evokes visions of beach vacations, honey-gold tans, and breezy clothes that expose plenty of sun-kissed skin. It can be difficult, in spite of all the information available about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun, to deny the allure of the sun-worshipping lifestyle, especially in a culture that equates a tan with healthiness and attractiveness.
But you don’t have to stay indoors with the shades drawn during daylight hours to protect yourself from sun damage. Having the best of both worlds involves planning, keeping a small arsenal of products handy, and preparing for emergencies.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
One of the reasons the sun is so harmful for your skin is that it’s so drying, and dry skin ages more quickly. Before you leave the house in the morning, apply plenty of good moisturizer. Neglect nothing: moisturize your face, neck, chest, body, and hands. Then, stay hydrated from the inside out by drinking plenty of water. Keep a sturdy bottle handy that you can refill throughout the day.
Minimize Unprotected Exposure
In spite of its bad reputation, sunlight can be beneficial. The light helps to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and also aids the body in the absorption of vitamin D. But these benefits are quickly negated by the damage the sun can do. If you’d like to derive the benefits without the drawbacks, keep your unprotected time in the sun to no more than 20 minutes, only in the early morning or just before dusk, when the rays are at their weakest.
SPF is Your Best Friend
You should always apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more; broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light is the most effective. Apply it to all exposed skin, including your neck and the parting in your hair, every morning before you leave the house.
Reapply it at least every two hours if you’re going to be out in the sun for a long time, and more often if you’re swimming or sweating a lot. Don’t forget to keep your lips hydrated and protected by using a lip balm with SPF.
Sunglasses not only protect the delicate skin around your eyes from sun exposure, but they also prevent premature aging caused by squinting against glare of the sunlight. Sunglasses also protect your eyes from overexposure to the sun, which can cause cataracts. Choose glasses that offer 100 percent UV protection and that fit closely to the eye. Dress for the Occasion
During the sun’s peak hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved top, and skirt or pants that are breezy enough to keep you cool, but woven tightly enough to protect your skin. If you’re going to be in direct sunlight for long periods, such as on a beach or a boat, opt for spending more time in the shade rather than lolling in the sun.
A lot of people find a golden tan attractive, and if that’s what you like, go ahead and have it! However, instead of stripping your skin of moisture and exposing it to carcinogenic ultraviolet light, get your color from a can or bottle. Many well-known cosmetic brands made excellent self-tanners, including St. Tropez, Neutrogena, and L’Oreal. Another alternative is to visit your local tanning salon for a long-lasting spray tan. Ditch the tanning bed, which can be just as harmful as sunlight, if not more so.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, and fear of the sun shouldn’t force you to spend your life indoors, watching everyone else having fun. By using the proper precautions, you can live it up in the sun without suffering the consequences.