Cue the Beach Boys music, grab your surfboard, and get ready for some sun-kissed skin and long summer nights!
Summer is just around the corner, and while most of us have been working hard to get beach body ready, it’s just as important to make sure our skin is summer sun-ready.
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can not only cause pain-inducing sunburns, but they can prematurely age the skin! This can leave behind wrinkles, a loss of skin elasticity, and reverse all the hard work you’ve put into maintaining a youthful appearance – but fear not. We have a solution.
10 Tips to Save Your Skin from Sun Damage
- Sunscreen. Yup, this is probably the most common knowledge of them all, but how do you know which SPF to use? A higher sun protection factor (SPF) (think SPF 30 and above) will generally better help prevent sunburn and protect against skin cancer.
- UVA vs. UVB. There are two different types of sun rays that can cause skin damage, long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short-wave ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays can penetrate deep into the skin’s thickest layer, while UVB rays usually burn the top layers of the skin. Make sure you’re using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays (30+).
- Check out your shadow. Have you heard of the Shadow Rule? If your shadow is shorter than you the sun’s rays are typically at their strongest, so you should try to find shade to avoid excess skin damage.
- WARNING: Did you know that some medications directly interact with direct sunlight? These medications can include certain types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, antifungals, blood pressure meds, and chemotherapy drugs. Not sure if your prescription makes the list? Check out the label on your medicine bottle. There should be a prominently displayed caution, if necessary.
- Cover up. We understand that you want to soak in those sweet warm rays (and hey, a tan wouldn’t be too bad either), but you may want to accessorize that bikini or swim trunks with a hat, sunglasses, or additional clothing. These extra pieces can help protect your body from damaging rays. And, don’t forget to wear sunglasses with lenses that have a high level (99% to 100%) UV protection to provide extra safety for your eyes and the surrounding skin around them.
- Beware water and sand. Yes, it’s summertime, so chances are you’re not going to avoid the beach altogether but be wary about too much time exposed to the water and sand. These surfaces can reflect the sun’s rays which can lead to a lobster-like sunburn. Not fun for anyone.
- Reapply. Sunscreen is not a one-and-done type of protection plan. For optimum protection, WebMD suggests reapplying at least every 80 minutes or sooner if you’re swimming or sweating a lot. And with the hot weather, we’re guessing you will be.
- Check the time. Did you know that the sun’s UVB rays are the strongest between 10AM and 4PM? Try to limit your time in the direct sunlight during these hours.
- Rub, don’t spray. Spray sunscreens are great, but if you don’t take the time to fully rub in the sunscreen you could be missing areas of your body that you thought you had covered. Not to mention that you may also be left with streak lines that will become noticeable if areas around the line burn from lack of sun protection.
- Invest in a Sun Sensor. Did you know there are sun sensors out on the market that you can easily stick onto your skin and they measure your exposure to the sun? These super helpful little stickers let you know via a connected app when you should find some shade and tracks your exposure to UV over time. Check out this article from Allure to see what they suggest.
Have fun this summer and use these tips to help protect you and your loved ones from unneeded sun damage.
How do you and your family and friends plan on spending your summer time? Share your comments with us in the section below!
- Bauer, Amber. “10 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun.” Cancer.Net, 30 July 2018, cancer.net/blog/2015-07/10-tips-protecting-your-skin-sun.
- “How To Protect Your Skin From the Sun.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/how-to-choose-susncreen#1.
- Rosenstein, Jenna. “7 Ways to Protect Your Skin From the Sun.” Allure, Allure, 8 Aug. 2016, www.allure.com/gallery/how-to-protect-your-skin-from-the-sun.