Summer is all about having fun in the sun. However, as you plan day trips to the beach and vacations, it’s important to remember how to keep yourself safe from harmful UV rays. Being outside in the sun is one of the best parts of summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Sunburns hurt and can lead to skin cancer and sun damage that causes wrinkles and premature aging. But how do you enjoy summer without worrying about your skin? Here are some tips to help protect your skin this summer while you spend time outside.
Summer is the best time to showcase your smooth legs, but showing more skin increases your risk of sun damage. The best way to protect your skin is by using sunscreen that blocks harmful UV rays. Even in cloudy weather, UV rays can damage your skin, and the easiest way to protect yourself is by adding a layer of sunscreen on all visible parts of your skin, including your face. When looking for sunscreen, consider getting one that’s broad spectrum and protects against both types of UV rays. Experts recommend using SPF 30 or higher for the best protection, but if you’re fairer skin, you should choose SPF 50 or above when spending lots of time in the sun.
Sunscreen should be applied multiple times per day, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. For example, if you’re at the beach and go for a swim, you should reapply sunscreen after each dip because it can wash off.
Wear a Hat
Hats with wide brims can keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face. Unfortunately, hats can’t protect your entire body, but they can protect the more delicate skin on your face that’s prone to sunburns, including your forehead, cheeks, and nose. Hats have one significant benefit over sunscreen: they don’t wear off, but they also can’t provide the same level of protection because they don’t cover your face. Therefore, you should still wear sunscreen on your face for added protection in the summer, even when wearing hats.
Everyone enjoys the feel of the warm sun on their skin. However, sunbathing overexposes your skin to UV rays over an extended period. In addition, since most people sunbathe to tan their skin, they’re often wearing little protective clothing, so the sun is more damaging to the entire body. If you choose to spend time outside during the summer, consider staying in the shade. You can use an umbrella at the beach to keep the sun off your skin.
Avoid Strong Rays
The sun is strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM, so it’s ideal to stay indoors or in the shade during those times. Of course, the late morning and early afternoon are the best times to spend outside, with most people heading to the beach in the morning and staying all day. If you plan to go to the beach, consider checking the UV index on your favorite weather app to learn how intense the rays are and find ways to keep yourself protected.
You should also avoid taking your dog on a walk or exercising outside during this time because that’s when it’s hottest out, and it can contribute to dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Protect Your Feet
Summer is a time for sandals, but they don’t protect your feet from the sun. If you choose to go barefoot outside or wear sandals, consider adding a layer of sunscreen just to keep your feet protected no matter what you’re doing.
Check Your Skin
It’s important to monitor your skin for signs of skin cancer and damage, including new spots and changes in moles. If you notice any symptoms of skin cancer, consult your doctor and continue to monitor your skin throughout the year.
Some medications may increase your sun sensitivity, including antibiotics and over-the-counter pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. Always check with your doctor to ensure your medication won’t contribute to sunburns or cause a sensitivity that makes going outside during the summer uncomfortable.
Avoid Tanning Beds
While summer is the perfect season to get a glowing tan, you should avoid tanning beds at all costs because they produce harmful UV rays, increasing the risk of skin cancer. Additionally, tanning beds don’t decrease your risk of sunburn by giving you a base tan, so there’s no reason to use them before, during, or after summer.
Make Healthy Choices
Unfortunately, the sun isn’t the only thing you have to worry about during the summer when it comes to your skin. Your lifestyle choices, including your diet and how you treat your skin, can affect your skin health. Of course, you should avoid smoking to maintain healthy skin and prevent premature aging. Additionally, you should use daily moisturizers and eat a healthy diet that provides your skin with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.
Cover Your Skin
Summer heat makes it difficult to be comfortable in too much clothing. However, keeping your skin covered protects it from UV rays without the need for sunscreen. Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and bamboo when spending time in the sun.
While water won’t protect your skin from the sun, it can prevent dehydration and keep your skin supple and healthy. Water is also a healthier choice than other popular summer beverages like sweet tea, soda, and juice. Since sweating and the heat from the sun dry out your skin faster than usual, keep water with you at all times to protect your skin and overall health.
With so many activities available in the summer, you don’t want to stay inside. However, going outside can harm your health if you don’t protect your skin. Always use sunscreen on any visible skin and cover up as much as possible while remaining comfortable. You should also continue to take care of your skin using hydrating products and moisturizers that contain SPF for additional coverage.