Summer offers ample opportunities to get outside and have some fun in the sun. But exposing your skin to too much sunshine can be damaging, so experts recommend taking steps to protect your skin whenever you’re spending time in the great outdoors, whether you’re strolling along a boardwalk, relaxing on a sandy beach, or going for a hike with friends.
Below are a few of the best ways to care for your skin all summer so you can make the most of the season without having to worry about causing damage that may lead to age spots, wrinkles, dryness, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Applying some sunscreen before you head out is a fast and easy way to shield your skin. While it’s important to use sunscreen throughout the year, during the summer, it can help prevent painful sunburns when you’re spending hours outside.
Applying sunscreen anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour before you go outside is a great strategy, and reapplying if you’re sweating a lot or if you’re swimming is also smart. And don’t be afraid to use a lot, as you want to be sure you’re applying enough to get the most protection possible against UVA and UVB rays.
As you shop for sunscreen, stick with those that have an SPF of at least 15, and the label should state that it provides broad-spectrum protection. Also, it’s best to go with a sunscreen that’s water and sweat resistant.
Extra tip: Don’t forget to look after the delicate skin on your lips. Applying, and reapplying, a lip balm that contains SPF 15 or higher is a simple way to keep your lips soft, smooth, and defended against the sun’s harsh rays. And if you’re wearing lipstick that doesn’t contain SPF, consider applying the lip balm first.
Use Makeup That Contains SPF
Speaking of lipstick that contains SPF, many cosmetic companies offer a wide range of makeup products that can help shield your skin when you’re basking in the sunshine during the summer.
Shop for products that have labels stating they contain broad-spectrum SPF. Just keep in mind that makeup alone might not give you the protection that you really need, so it’s still a great idea to apply a layer of sunscreen first.
Wear Protective Clothing and Accessories
Although you can shop for clothes that have been treated to block UV radiation (their labels will showcase an ultraviolet protective factor, or UPF), you can use regular clothes to protect your skin too. Fabrics that are tightly woven rather than stretchy, as well as darker colors, could help provide an extra layer of defense.
When it comes to accessories, you can enhance your look while taking steps to keep your skin healthy. For example, a large hat with a wide brim can complete your outfit and cover your scalp and ears, which tend to burn surprisingly easily.
Extra tip: Wear a pair of stylish sunglasses to shield your eyes. The larger the lenses, the more they’ll cover your eyes and keep out those harsh rays that may increase your risk of problems like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Be Strategic About When You Spend Time in the Sun
If your goal is to get a tan, you might be tempted to head outside when the sun’s rays are strongest, but that’s also when you’re more likely to get burned. To help prevent skin damage during the summer, experts recommend avoiding tanning between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM.
You can also check the UV Index for the day to see when it’s more dangerous to expose your skin to the sun. A UV Index of 5 or 6 is considered moderate, while 10 is very high, and 11 or more is deemed extreme. Although it’s wise to always take steps to safeguard your skin from the sun, when you notice the UV Index is moderate or higher, taking extra precautions is necessary.
A Few Small Steps Can Go a Long Way in Protecting Your Skin
Catching some rays and getting a glowing tan during the summer is something that a lot of people love to do. But while you’re having a good time taking in the warm sunshine, keep in mind that those UV rays can also do a lot of harm, including prematurely aging your skin and increasing your risk of developing skin cancer. So be sure to take some simple steps, such as those discussed above, to effectively defend your skin all summer long.