As spring is already upon us, summer is just around the corner. The warm season will of course bring with it strong and intense sun, which you must protect your skin against. Actually, UV-rays make their way through thick layers of clouds, so even if you cannot see the sun during the day, you still need to take the proper steps to protect your skin from it.
Why is protecting your skin from the sun so important? Because sun damage can happen very quick, without you noticing and be irreversible. At best, you will get a sunburn, which is at least a first degree burn. At worst, skin cancer is what you can look at. Without considering wrinkles, uneven skin tones, melasma, age spots and other damages that you’d rather avoid.
The sun will make your skin age faster, which is something we guess you’d rather avoid. Plus, like everything else, too much of sun is not good for you. Even more so if you are currently undergoing laser hair removal. Indeed, not only will the laser treatment leave your skin more sensitive to UV-rays for a time, but a tan may hinder the process altogether.
7 Proven Ways To Protect Your Skin From The Sun
1. Use baby sunscreen
Even though a sunscreen with SPF 30 is already quite good, we would advise you to go for something stronger. Especially if your skin is very pale and vulnerable to the sun. While some people may naturally tan and get a golden brown skin in summer, some other will just get red. Red is not usually a color you want to see on your skin. Whether you belong to the first or the second category, prevention is better than cure. Go for a SPF 50 which will protect your skin from the sun much better.
It is also important that you avoid chemical sunscreens. Do not solely rely on cosmetic products claiming to contain SPF as they will not be strong enough to protect your skin from sun-damage. Go for a physical sunblock containing zinc oxide as it will act as a shield against UV-Rays. That is where sunscreens for children come in. Since their skin is usually much more sensitive, they need the strongest protection. You may want to take advantage of those products.
2. Buy sun blocking cosmetics
We said just above that you should not rely on cosmetics claiming to contain SPF to protect your skin from the sun. And it is true. You should not, at any cost, rely solely on them as your sole and only protection against UV-rays. Obviously, they will not provide a protection strong enough. That is not what they are made for to start with. However, they are still useful and a lazy way to incorporate sunscreen to your makeup and skincare routine without you putting in any more efforts.
SPF-containing cosmetics will still offer some sort of protection. On a cloudy day, the sun is of course not as strong as a lot of UV-rays will not pass the cloud layer. Or on a work day when you do not spend that much time outside. Look at products you use everyday such as primer, foundation or moisturizer. When you need a refill, consider buying a moisturizer with a SPF 30. Some brands even offer foundation containing SPF 50.
3. Apply spray sunscreen thoroughly
If you use a cream, you will have no choice that spend a fair amount of time applying it over your body thoroughly to make sure it penetrates the skin. When it comes to sprays, a lot of people spray and do not do anything more. That is a mistake. A thin layer of spray sitting on the skin will not do anything and will be removed if you go swimming. You need to make sure that should you be using spray, you apply it thoroughly so that it penetrates the skin. Then only will your skin be protected from the sun.
If you are about to go for a swim, you may want to stay clear of water and sand for a good fifteen minutes after application of the sunblock to ensure it has penetrated the skin well. You should also re-apply every two hours, even more so as you spend time in the water. Indeed, the water absorbs UV-rays and you may sunburn more easily.
4. Avoid sun peak
Even if you use sunblocks and make sure your skin is protected from the sun, it is still advised to avoid the sun when it is peaking and at its strongest. If the sun is stronger, the risks of getting sun damage increase as well. Furthermore, not only can it be bad for your skin but also for your head. A sun stroke is no fun and can really knock you out for a day or more.
The sun peaks between 10am and 4pm, being at its strongest between 1pm and 3pm. If you really want to be outside during those hours, make sure to have applied sunscreen, stay in the shade as much as you can and wear a hat. You must protect your skin but also your head. Most of the time, it is right after lunch time so we would not advise you to go swimming straight away. Instead, wait in the shade to make sure you’ve digested your meal before you go swimming.
5. Wear covering clothes
Of course, it makes a lot of sense to wear covering clothes to avoid sunburns and other sun-damage. If your skin is covered, in theory, the sun cannot get to it. Clothes stop 98% of UV-Rays. We get that it is more difficult on holiday, if you are on the beach or if it is very hot. You should at least wear a brimmed-hat. A brim that’s at least four inches all the way around protects the scalp and the tops of the ears, where people often forget to apply sunscreen. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on the areas not covered with your clothes.
6. Wear sunglasses
As we said earlier, the skin is not the only part of the body the sun can damage. The head is one prime target for UV-rays. A prolonged exposure may give you a sunstroke. The sun can do real damage to your eyes. Indeed, the sun’s UV rays can lead to cataracts. Sunglasses protect against “blue light” from the solar spectrum, which could increase your risk of macular degeneration.
Thus, it is important to wear sunglasses any time you can to protect your eyes. Since they are now very in fashion and come in a lot of different fun styles, you have a lot of choices for what design to pick. Make sure they have polarized lenses with UV filters. Avoid anything reflective: Mirrors may look cool, but they bounce UV light onto your cheeks.
7. Take into account your medication
Finally, in order to protect your skin against the sun, and picking the best sunblock for you, you need to take into account your medication. Indeed, some medications like antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs increase photosensitivity. Thus, they make you more vulnerable to the sun and more likely to get sunburnt. This is why, should you be taking any of those while on holiday or being exposed to the sun, you need to follow all the advice above, just to make sure you are fully protected against the sun.
We can’t wait for summer to start and for the beaches to reopen. There is nothing more peasant than feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. As long as you protect it from the sun that is.