Summer Skin Saving Tips
In a world were most are desperate to stay "toned, tanned, and tinted" and pursue the "Fountain of Youth" more avidly than ever yet doing exactly what makes your skin age the fastest - exposing it to the sun. Everyone wishes they had baby skin but summer’s heat and sun can do some serious damage very quickly unless you take precautions. While the good news is that some ( I said some not all) of our bad behavior in the sun can be erased these days, the best defense is still a good offense. Keep yourself out of the sun when you can and use sunscreen when you are in the sun. When you think about it, it's not much to ask for a lifetime of looking younger and worry-free of serious skin problems. Follow these tips and you can greatly curb your chances for sunburns, skin cancer, wrinkles and premature aging!
Choose your protection wisely: You know you need sunscreen. But with so many lotions, sprays and gels to choose from, how do you know which sunblock will actually prevent sunburns — and skin cancer? When it comes to shielding your skin from the sun, the type of sunblock you choose is as important as how you use it. I hear many people blame their sunscreen when they get sunburned. First of all, it's not always the sunscreen but the problem is that the user isn’t reading the label and applying the sunscreen properly. Secondly, in the last few years, the market has become over-saturated with sunscreens that make wild claims with even wilder SPF numbers. As a result, consumers grew increasingly more confused about what number sunscreen we should actually be wearing. For a more in depth look and to answer all your questions regarding sunblock view my post: Are you getting the most from your Sun Protection?
Wear Sunblock - Avoid going out in the sun between 10 AM and 3 PM during the summer months, the intensity of the sun is more and apart from generating searing heat, the suns rays also radiate high amounts of ultra-violet radiation. UV rays are intense and damaging to the skin thus sun protection is necessary to avoid long term damage and sun protection no lower than SPF 30 should be applied to the face and body to avoid the damage caused by ultra-violet light. UVA rays are the rays that cause wrinkles and skin aging, while UVB rays produce tans and burns. Look for a sunblock that is dual-spectrum, meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc and/or Zinc Oxide are powerful sun protectors that naturally reflect the sun’s harmful rays, unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays to prevent them from damaging the epidermal layer. It's important to wear sunscreen year-round, but it's even more crucial during the summer, when the sun’s rays are stronger. Be sure that you’re using a high SPF sunscreen. At least a SPF 30 and more important reapply, reapply!! Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you step outside, to ensure that it has time to start working, and reapply it every few hours to keep your skin protected. Your skin can take up to a half-hour to absorb sunscreen. Plan ahead and don’t skimp on the sunscreen. For sunscreen to do its job effectively, you should apply one ounce of sunscreen — the size of a golf ball — to every part of your body exposed to the sun. Be extremely thorough when you apply sunscreen, and make sure you cover all of your exposed skin. It’s easy to forget a few key areas — the tops of your ears, your scalp along your part, and the tops of your toes — and you risk getting a nasty burn in those places. SPF 30 is usually adequate for low levels of sun exposure. The number means that it would take 30 times longer to burn than not wearing any sunscreen. That means if it would take a minute to burn without sunscreen, it would take 30 minutes to burn after applying the recommended amount of SPF30.
Stay covered - Unfortunately, sunscreen can’t completely prevent sunburns, blisters and skin cancer. But you can give your skin some added protection. If you do venture out into the sun, try to keep your skin covered as much as possible. Look for a wide-brimmed hat and consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. Overexposure to the sun can also result in retinal damage to your eyes, highlighting the importance of sunglasses and hats to shield the eyes, the skin around the eyes is the most delicate and should have extra protection. Sunglasses/Hats that block sun rays are a great investment and they also reduce squinting as a result of sun glare which can cause crows feet or fine lines while the intense summer rays can cause pigmentation to the delicate skin. Clothing that’s been treated with a sunscreen can also help protect your skin. If it’s too hot to wear a lot of clothes, you can always use an umbrella for shade. Don’t think you’re protected on overcast days — the most damaging ultraviolet rays penetrate cloud cover. Be careful if you overindulge on sun exposure and try to prevent getting sunburned.
Consider a self-tanner - If you want that sun-kissed look without the risk of skin damage or skin cancer, use a self-tanner. Just be sure that you apply it evenly, and use rubber gloves to avoid tanning the palms of your hands. Also make sure to have skin properly cleansed and exfoliated to avoid streaking and build up that can clog the pores. There is always the option of mineral makeup or tinted moisturizers that also give you that sun-kissed glow without the nasty chemicals of the self-tanners.
Protect your skin from the other elements - Pool chlorine and sea salt can irritate your skin, and the constant heat can dehydrate you. Be sure to rinse off thoroughly with fresh water after hitting the beach or the pool, and stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water every day (more if you’re out and sweating a lot)
Until Next Time,