Summer sun and temperatures are beloved because they provide you with the opportunity to spend more time outdoors doing the things you love. However, the sun and temperatures come at a price and it is your skin that pays. Sun damage can lead to premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, marks, dry skin, and even skin cancer over time.
1. Understand how the summer sun impacts your skin. It’s important to know how the sun’s rays impact your skin, especially when you’re seeking to cut through the hype on cosmetic labels.
2. Wear sunscreen but only after assessing the need and doing your own research. Not all sunscreens are made alike – some provide a physical barrier (minerals) while others provide a chemical barrier that absorbs ultraviolet rays. SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and indicates the length of time you can stay in the sun; you calculate the SPF by the number of minutes you can stay in the sun without burning normally.
3. Stay out of the sun between the hours of 10am and 3pm. The hottest part of the day during the summer is the most damaging time. Don’t stay out in the sun for long periods of time around the hottest hours; the longer you’re outside, the longer your skin is exposed to the radiation.
4. Wear protective clothing over your skin. A lot of clothing in outdoor stores and fashion stores has a UV protection rating and some clothes are impregnated with a UV-absorbing colorless dye. Cover up as much skin as you can, using lightweight fabrics when it’s really hot and uncomfortable. Choose fabrics that won’t itch, scratch, or overheat you and prefer light colors over dark ones, to keep the heat level down.
5. Ditch the obsession with a tan. Sunbathing or using a solarium increases your chances of damaging your skin and getting skin cancers. Moreover, sunbathing will add a good 20 years to your age by dehydrating and wrinkling your skin.
6. Give your skin a break. By watching the weather over summer, you can work out the days when you won’t need to slather on the chemicals, such as when it’s pouring with rain or it’s a very overcast day. Be sure to pop on your hat and cover clothing as usual because UV rays still penetrate the clouds; you can at least allow your skin a break from the sunscreen.
7. Rinse skin after swimming. This is especially important when you’ve been swimming in chlorinated environments as the chlorine can dry out your skin and for some people it can even result in an allergic reaction. Besides, it’s a lot nicer to smell neutral rather than of chlorine!
8. Avoid spraying perfume on your skin in the sun. The psoralen in perfume (especially in citrus perfumes) can permanently stain your skin when they react with the sun. During the summertime, it is recommended that you spritz your clothes with your fragrance rather than your skin.
9. Drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin is better skin and it’s easy for skin to become parched during the summer months. Dehydration results in dry skin, frown-lines, spots, a sluggish complexion and a lack of “glow”. Drink water regularly throughout the day. Water will both hydrate your skin and flush out toxins that can mar your complexion.
10. Eat healthy foods. A healthy skin comes from eating well and summer is the ideal time to make dietary changes for the better. Cut down on sugar and refined processed foods which create unbalanced blood sugar levels and therefore contribute to premature aging. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choose from the rainbow of fruit and vegetable colors to ensure that you’re getting all the antioxidants and nutrients your skin needs.
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