How To Protect Your Skin This Summer
Tips For Keeping Your Skin Safe During Sunny Days
Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Summer is the perfect season for traveling and doing outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, playing sports, or relaxing at the beach.
But you don't want to ruin a pleasant moment with your family and friends by getting sunburned, right? To prevent this from happening, stay away from the sun during its most intense periods.
If you must be outside by midday, seek shade from a tree or any other shelter or use an umbrella. And, of course, don’t forget to apply sunscreen (which is our next tip).
Apply (and reapply) sunscreen
There’s no way to escape; applying sunscreen is the most crucial step to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Opting for a broad-spectrum sunscreen is also advisable, which means it offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
The proper way to use sunscreen is to apply enough to cover all skin not covered by clothing. For most adults, this amount is approximately one ounce. Don’t forget your feet, neck, ears, and top of your head.
Make sure to apply sunscreen before going outside, even on cloudy days. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or seating.
Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection
You should also protect the skin around your eyes against damage caused by sun rays. Wearing proper and protective sunglasses can serve this purpose and aid in preventing potential eye tissue damage that may lead to cataracts.
Some people enjoy sunbathing, especially those who want to achieve the perfect tan. But excessive sun exposure can accelerate skin aging and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Fortunately, there are numerous options of self-tan products that offer flawless than without the need for extended sun exposure.
Avoid using the tanning bed
Since sunbathing is not an option, you might be considering an alternative approach. The bad news is that tanning beds are not a good choice either. They emit UV light, associated with skin cancer and premature skin aging.
The truth is whether it is from sunbathing or visiting an indoor tanning bed, a tan is a signal that your skin is damaged. This damage builds up over time, resulting in skin cancer.
If you want to achieve a tan without risking your health, consider using safer alternatives such as sunless or spray tanning products.
Be aware of medications that can increase sensitivity to the sun
Some medicines can make you more sensitive to the effects of sunlight. These include:
- Antihistamines (medicines to treat allergies) such as Benadryl.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Antibiotics such as Bactrim or Tetracycline.
- Some medications for diabetes.
If you’re taking any of these medications, discuss the potential side effects following sun exposure with your healthcare provider.
Choose clothing and accessories wisely
When heading outdoors during summer days, ensure you protect yourself beyond just applying sunscreen.
Wearing a suitable cap or hat can safeguard your head, neck, and ears. Additionally, opt for comfortable clothing made from light and quick-drying natural fibers. Some fabrics also provide UV protection.
Regularly inspect your skin
Summer can cause changes to our skin. It’s important to observe these changes and seek medical advice if anything unusual appears.
With the help of a mirror, look for any changes to moles, freckles, or birthmarks. Go see your dermatologist if you notice new spots or anything itching or bleeding.
Have a healthy lifestyle
Regardless of the season, you need to maintain healthy lifestyle habits to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. Follow these tips:
- Avoid smoking since it can damage collagen and elastin on your skin.
- Use mild soaps and moisturize your skin daily.
- Limit hot showers as it strips essential oils from your skin.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Pat yourself dry instead of rubbing, as this helps to preserve the moisture in your skin.
- Engage in stress-reducing activities.
- Sleep 8 hours a day.
Keep your skin protected this summer by following some simple steps. Apply sunscreen regularly, steer clear of the midday sun when it's the strongest, and wear suitable clothing for added protection. Also, adopting healthy lifestyle habits will contribute to keeping your skin looking healthy and beautiful all summer long!
Mayo Clinic. 9 Tips to Protect Your Skin This Summer. Available: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/9-tips-to-protect-your-skin-this-summer/
AAD. HOW TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER. Available: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/prevent/how.