As we head into the summer months, it’s important to take precautions to protect your skin from the harmful damage the sun can cause. Because today is National Sunscreen Day, we thought it would be helpful to share a few tips on how you can protect your skin this summer.
1. Use sunscreen every day
Most people only use sunscreen when they head to the beach or the pool. But did you know that experts say you should wear sunscreen every time you go outside? UV rays from the sun can reach your skin even in cold or cloudy weather, not just when the sun is shining bright. In fact, research has shown that you are just as, if not more, likely to get sunburned while skiing than at the beach. The higher up you are from sea level, the stronger the sun is. So snowboarding or skiing can be worse for your skin than hitting the beaches in Florida.
So no matter where you are, it is best to apply sunscreen before going outside. But with so many different types of sunscreen how do you know which is best? Well, there are two different types of sunscreen. Physical sunscreen is the type that works like a shield for your body, sitting on the surface of your skin and deflecting the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreen is the type that works more like a sponge, absorbing the sun’s rays. If you tend to have more sensitive skin, you should opt for the physical type. But either way, make sure the sunscreen you purchase is broad-spectrum, water-resistant, and has an SPF of 30 or higher. If you are in the sun for long periods of time, remember to reapply every two hours, or right after swimming.
2. Exfoliate gently/resist the urge to scrub
Your skin sheds dead cells every 30 days or so, but sometimes the cells don’t shed completely. Exfoliating your skin regularly can help with this, and give you overall healthier looking skin. But there are proper ways to exfoliate, and if you are too rough with your skin you can actually damage it, leading to breakouts or rashes.
Some tips for proper exfoliation?
- Be gentle to your skin! Don’t be too rough or vigorous. Exfoliate in a circular motion for about 30 seconds, using light strokes.
- After you exfoliate, use a moisturizer. This can help nourish and replenish your skin after exfoliation.
- Use one product at a time. Using multiple products can ultimately cause damage to the skin, resulting in unwanted side effects.
3. Wear protective clothing
Earlier we talked about how important sunscreen is to protecting your skin. But, sunscreen should be thought of as just one aspect of your routine. It is just as important to wear protective clothing when you venture out into the sun. Items such as long sleeves and pants, hats and sunglasses are also vital toward protecting your skin.
Clothes made from tight-knit fabric offer the best protection, and darker colors are better than lighter. And dry clothing will offer up more protection than wet clothing.
4. Use SPF lip balm
Typically when we think about applying sunscreen we only think about applying it to our body. But it’s just as important to apply an SPF balm to your lips. Take it from the author, who once got second-degree burns on his lips after spending three days at the beach without any SPF on his lips. It is a painful experience to go through.
Doctors consider SPF lip balm a daily essential to help protect your lips from skin cancer. Your bottom lip is generally more susceptible to UV damage, as it tends to protrude more than your top lip. In addition, too much sun exposure can leave your lips looking dry and wrinkled. And nobody wants that!
As we head toward summer, remember these tips to help you maintain youthful, healthy looking skin!