There’s nothing quite like soaking up the first rays of summer. The hot sun massages your skin, making you feel relaxed for the first time after a busy week. While 10 – 15 minutes of daily sun exposure gives you the Vitamin D you need, too much sun can damage your skin.
Ultraviolet rays are responsible for as much as 90% of the visible changes to the skin linked with premature aging. Too much exposure damages your skin’s DNA, which can lead to cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- Approximately 50 Americans die from skin cancer every day.
- Having 5+ sunburns doubles your risk of melanoma
Getting the right amount of sun—and not too much—can be hard to manage, but we’re here to help. Here are 7 tips for better skin protection this summer:
1.Use Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Do you plan to be outside a lot this summer? If so, you should incorporate sunscreen into your daily skincare regimen.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB radiation, while SPF (sun protection factor) only protects against UVB rays. While UVB rays are usually the culprits of sunburn and reddening, broad-spectrum sunscreen provides extra skin protection and has become standard in recent years.
On cloudy days when you’re not spending too much time outside, you can probably get away with an SPF of 15 or higher. Otherwise, we recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Also, make sure you’re covering all your exposed skin. Don’t forget about your ears, the tops of your feet, and those hard to reach areas.
2.Don’t Forget to Reapply Sunscreen
Many people apply sunscreen when they get out in the sun, then forget about it for the rest of the day. Don’t.
If you’re planning a day at the beach, by the pool, or even in your backyard, you’ll need to reapply sunscreen. Most sunscreen only provides 90 – 120 minutes of protection. If you swim or sweat a lot, you’ll need to reapply more often. Otherwise, you’ll risk skin reddening and sunburn.
Also, check your sunscreen’s expiration date. The FDA requires sunscreens to remain at their original strengths for at least three years, so the bottle you bought last summer is still good. However, if you’ve been coasting on the bottle you bought during the Obama administration, it’s time for a new one.
3.Remember to Stay Hydrated
On average, most of us should drink eight cups of water every day. Hydration helps keep your skin supple and smooth. During summer, your body requires more water to keep yourself cool. It uses the water you have to carry heat away from your internal organs and prevent you from overheating. If you’re drinking soft drinks or alcohol in the sun, you’re putting yourself at greater risk.
Make sure you’re drinking adequate water while in the heat. If you’re consuming alcohol, have a cup of water between drinks. Your body will love you for it, inside and out.
An easy way to determine if you need to drink more water is to examine the color of your urine. The clearer, the better.
4.Practice Good Skincare
The summer months are when your skin needs you the most. When you’re outside, you’re exposing your skin to the sun, sand, and dirt. In response, your body is likely to increase oil production, which can lead to poor complexion, clogged pores, and problem skin. To prevent this, incorporate a cleanser, an exfoliator, and a moisturizer into your daily skincare regimen.
- Cleanser: Your cleanser will help rejuvenate your skin and eliminate common skin issues like clogged pores.
- Exfoliator: Your exfoliator will remove the top layer of dead skin cells, leaving you with bright, smoother skin with a better complexion. If you exfoliate regularly, the sunscreen you apply will provide extra protection.
- Moisturizer: If you’re exfoliating your skin, you should also be moisturizing. Your moisturizer will help your skin stay supple and soft.
5.Be Extra Cautious Midday
Midday is typically when UV rays are the most harmful. The hottest time is usually around 3pm. The sun is highest in the sky at noon. By 3pm, the sun is low, and the outgoing heat is greater than the incoming heat. Weather systems can alter this, but in general, you should seek some shade around this time, or reapply your broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or above.
6.Wear Protective Clothing or Seek Shade
Another wear to protect your skin from the sun is to cover yourself up or seek cover. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat of SPF-rated clothes. We recommend wearing breathable, yet tightly-woven fabrics, like cotton or linen. Since it’ll be hot, opt for lightweight pants and shirts or long-sleeved shirts, as opposed to shorts, tank tops, and tube tops.
And never underestimate the amazing powers of a beach umbrella!
7.Schedule an Appointment With Us
Boston Direct Health offers a full range of services, including good skin care practices. If you’re worried about your dry skin, skin damage, or a mole, or if you want to make your skin appear younger, smoother, and plumper, make an appointment with us today! We can answer any of your skin-related questions, so you can enjoy the sun’s rays this summer and while maintaining healthy skin.