5 Ways To Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Don’t let the sun get in the way of your summer plans!
Summer is the time go out more and be more active. But before you grab your bikinis and experience all that summer has to offer, don't forget to protect your skin from the hot sun with these skin-saving tips and products!
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Sure Vitamin D comes from sun exposure but too much (and at the wrong hours) can do more harm than good. Ultraviolet A and B rays (UVA/UVB) cause sunburn, advanced skin aging and—in the worst cases—melanoma (skin cancer).
So yes to sun worship but with sun-safe products. Here's what you can do and what you'll need:
Sunscreen comes in various forms: lotion, cream, ointment, gel and balm; choose whichever works best for you. The important thing is generous application and reapplication. And remember:
1. Apply 20-30 minutes before going out, also keeping in mind the areas that aren’t protected by clothing
2. Apply GENEROUSLY (meaning as much as you can)
3. Reapply at least every two (2) hours
4. Apply every day, even when it cloudy outside because clouds don’t inhibit the sun’s rays
5. Don’t just spray it on if you’re getting it from a can. Hold the can an inch away and spray section by section, using your hands to blend the product in.
Here are some terms to keep in mind when you’re looking for the perfect sunscreen:
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) — This number reflects the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Wearing SPF 30 for an hour is the same as spending two unprotected minutes under the sun. A higher SPF number means better defense, but we'd throw in a hat and sunglasses for maximum protection.
Broad Spectrum — This means that the product has been tested and shown to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Often, these sunscreens have avobenzone, ecamsule, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. A broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher has been proven to protect against skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed (along with other sun protection measures).
Water Resistant — There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen! Water resistance can be claimed only if the product remains on skin for 30 to 40 minutes after it’s been hit by water or sweat.
Expiration date — Most sunscreen products last for 2 to 3 years, but make sure to shake the bottle to mix ingredients before every use. Also remember that sunscreen that’s been exposed to heat for long periods of time may be less effective.
Limit sun exposure
We love the sun as much as the next guy or gal but make sure to stay on the safe side and stay in the shade between 10AM and 4PM, since UV rays are stronger during these hours. Rule of thumb: If your shadow is shorter than your actual height, then the sun is still harmful. Also keep in mind that UV rays can pass through windows—tint or no tint.
Sunbathing may not always be the best idea. So thank God for tanning lotion—not tanning beds as they, too, give off UVA and UVB rays.
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The things you wear to amp up your style game can also protect you! Sunglasses shield the delicate skin around your eyes and can block UV rays (if UV protection level is indicated). Just remember that darker glasses don’t always mean better protection; opt for larger frames and wraparound glasses for better protection.
A hat will also shade your ears, forehead, nose and scalp—which are more often exposed to the sun. Wear one with a brim that’s at least 2 to 3 inches or a dark and non-reflective underside to help lessen the amount of UV rays that reach your face. Oh and straw hats don't do much so go for a headpiece that's tightly woven or throw in a scarf underneath.
On regular days, clothes are your first line of defense so embrace your long-sleeved shirts, pants and skirts. Darker colors are known to provide more protection than lighter ones.
There are also clothes made with sun-protective materials that you can wear, but do keep in mind that no article of clothing can block all UV rays.
That's it! Have fun, play it safe and sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! It's the real secret to younger looking skin.