Fun in the sun is the reason we all look forward to summer. But swimming pools, ocean breezes, and the bright ultraviolet (UV) rays of sun arent so much fun for your skin. Dried-out skin is uncomfortable, sunburns are downright painful and the worst risk of all—skin cancer—is no laughing matter. As with many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Follow these steps to take care of your epidermis while enjoying these warm, sunny days.
Lying out in the sun slathered in oil is a time-honored tradition…and one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Besides the risk of sunburn, sunbathing increases the chance of getting malignant melanomas and can even lead to premature aging. If you just cant avoid soaking up some rays, do it outside of peak hours (the sun is brightest between 10am and 4pm) and always wear sunscreen.
Slip, Slop, Slap
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends a three-step approach whenever youre going to be outdoors during the summer. Slip on a shirt, wrap or some other cover up—lightweight, light-colored options are best to keep you cool and deflect the suns ray. Slap on plenty of sunscreen—SPF 30 or higher is recommended—and reapply every few hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. Slap on a wide-brimmed hat and some sunglasses to create shade everywhere you go (remember: the skin around your eyes is extra sensitive, so take extra care here).
Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
Covering up is good…covering up in fabrics with built-in UV protection is better. Look for shirts, shorts, and swimwear that offers this technology.
Take Extra Care Near Water and Sand
All bodies of water—lakes, rivers, oceans and swimming pools—will reflect the suns rays, meaning youre getting an extra dose of skin-damaging UV. Sand (and even pale concrete) can do the same. So be especially vigilant about covering up and wearing sunscreen if youre swimming or at the beach—and always reapply after 30-60 minutes!
Stay in the Shade
Full sun exposure increases the risk of UV damage—and it can be uncomfortably hot as well. Look for shady areas for summertime fun, or bring your own by way of a beach umbrella or pop-up sunshade.
Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration takes a toll on your whole body…including your skin. So drink up the pure, fresh water whenever youre active outdoors.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
The single most important thing you can do for summertime skin health. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen liberally every day so youre never caught without, and reapplying every two hours or as needed (after getting wet or sweating). Its best to put it on 15 minutes before exposure, and to use a broad-spectrum formula that blocks both UV A and B rays with a SPF of 30 or higher.
Your skin covers youre whole body, so if its unhappy, you will be, too. You dont have to hide from the sun altogether this summer…just use a little wisdom when youre out and about, and youll be able to enjoy all that summer has to offer, safely and happily.
SelectQuote wishes you a fun and safe summer!