Summer is the time for outdoor activities and beach vacations. As you enjoy the outdoors, you need to stay sun-safe to prevent skin cancer and slow aging.
How Sun Exposure Affects The Body
Exposure to the harmful sun rays will cause the fibers of the skin called elastin to break down and the skin begins to stretch and sag. In addition, bruises and tears will appear faster but take longer time to heal. The other problems caused by overexposure to the sun are as follows:
- Eye problems
- Skin spots
- Premature wrinkles
- Tanning and the list goes on
How To Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Here are some tips to protect your skin from harmful UV rays:
- Use a strong sunscreen
“I just don’t think there’s a sunscreen that gives you enough protection”, says Brooke Burke, summing up the importance of sunscreen. Always use sunscreen when you step outdoors. It is important to choose sunscreen that can block both UVA and UVB rays and has SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. You can also use lip balm with SPF 30+ for protecting your lips. Apply a generous amount of cream on all exposed areas. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you are outside, especially while swimming. Remember to store your sunscreen in a cool place. Check the expiry date of sunscreen when you buy it and discard it when it is past its expiration date. Though sunscreen protects the skin from harmful UV rays, it is not recommended for babies six months or younger.
- Try to reduce time in the sun
During summer, the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 am to 4 pm. So it is recommended to stay in the shade during this time. However, many manual jobs require working outdoors. Outdoor workers should use a good heavy duty sunscreen and take even breaks to limit sun exposure.
- Wear sun protective clothes
Wear cool, loose, comfortable clothes in summer. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts are an effective shield against sun damage and skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing dark or bright colors prevent the UV rays from reaching your skin, clothes of densely woven cloth, like denim, canvas, wool or synthetic fiber, fabric with UPF that blocks the sun’s rays.
- Use an umbrella or hat
Wear a hat or use an umbrella to protect your skin from harmful rays of the sun. Avoid hats made of straw as may they let the sunlight in. Hats made of tightly woven fabrics work better to protect your skin as they cover the face, ears and back of your neck.
- Wear sunglasses
Overexposure to the sun can create eye problems. So wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors. Sunglasses can block both UVA and UVB rays effectively and also reduce the risk of cataracts. They will also protect the delicate skin around the eyes from sun exposure.
Taking the right steps to protect your skin in summer will keep it healthy, soft, and smooth.