4 Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer
Summer is the perfect time for tons of warm weather activities, but it’s also a time when we’re most prone to damaging effects of the sun. Even though the dangers of UV rays have been drilled into our minds from a young age, that doesn’t mean we know all the ins and outs of sun safety. There’s always some new protective technology coming into play, or old theories that should be disregarded. How is anyone expected to keep up?
Happily, sunburn and other sun damage are avoidable. From adults to kids, there are many ways you can use to prevent sunburn, especially during summer. Before setting out into the sun, educate and equip yourself with better sun protection habits. Sunscreen is important and the obvious choice, but there are several other strategies you can use to protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun.
1. Have protective swimwear and clothing
According to numerous organizations such as the Skin Cancer Protection, using sun protective clothing is important. That’s right: clothing can protect you from the sun. But don’t get too excited. The UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of a typical cotton T-shirt is 7. Since UPF and SPF are similar… 7 is not high.
UPF is always the standard measurement for the sun protectiveness of clothing. It measures both UVA and UVB rays. Hence, when purchasing UPF-clothing, make sure you pick those with UPF 50 or higher. This kind of outfit will block 98 percent or even more of the sun’s rays.
Swimwear, like rash guards, also come with sun protection built into the fabric. Just keep an eye out for anything on the tag that mentions UPF and look for a number of 50 or more.
2. Pack UV Sunglasses
Eyes are prone to sun damage. We’re talking the skin around your eyes (fine lines are the result of squinting over and over) as well as your eyeballs. Yikes! As if that wasn’t bad enough, turns out a lot of the stylish sunglasses out there don’t protect from UV rays. So, for best protection, find some sunnies that offer UV protection of 400 and which also adequately cover your eyes.
3. Have a wide-brim hat
Since you can’t really put sunscreen on your scalp, a hat is a must-have. Opt for one with a wide brim, at least 3 inches, as well, for extra protection for your face. Don’t forget about the ears! A hat with flaps that can cover your ears are even better (though might get a little warm in the hotter temperatures).
4. Select the right sunscreen
Alright. This is a big one. Sunscreen is everyone’s go-to for sun protection and there are tons of options available. Brand is easy to go by but not always the best choice, so it’s important for you to go into the store armed with some facts. One thing is true across the board: the best sunscreen is waterproof. Even if you aren’t planning on going into the water, you will sweat, and sweat counts as water. Yes, even those of us who “glisten” need to choose waterproof sunscreen. Other essential factors when choosing a sunscreen:
Check the label – most people assume that if the SPF is higher, the product is good. That’s an important factor, but not the only one. The ingredients titanium oxide and zinc oxide act as physical barriers from UV rays. So a sun lotion with a high SPF as well as those ingredients is more effective than SPF alone. Also make sure the label says “broad spectrum,” to protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Further, opt for an SPF of at least 30.
Avoid the aerosol sunscreens – one downside of aerosol sunscreen is that it can get in your eyes. Another is that it’s to miss spots, leaving your skin unprotected. The only thing worse than a sunburn is a spotty sunburn.
Apply substantial amounts – make sure you apply substantial amounts of sun lotion on all exposed skin. Ensure you apply a thick and reliable amount of all exposed body parts. Do not forget the ears, back of the hands, underarms, bottoms of feet, and between the fingers. After applying on those important areas, apply the face. It is important to note that even on cloudy days, 80 percent of UV-rays reaches the earth surface. So, applying a generous amount of the exposed skin is very important.
Always re-apply – based on new guidelines for sunscreens, all brands must clearly display a reapplication period. Whether it is 40 or 80 minutes, and after sweating or swimming.
Sun safety protects your skin from damage like fine lines and discoloration. A tan looks great until you’re in your late twenties… then you begin to wonder where those little lines around your eyes came from. Be proactive and protect your skin ASAP!