The warmth of the summer sun is both loved…and hated. Yes, we love the warmth of summer, lazy afternoons at the beach or pool and being able to toss the pants for flowy skirts and shorts. However, the sun can be our skin’s worst nightmare. Burns, peeling…age spots! Don’t even get me started about premature aging.
By now, we all know that a tan is not healthy. That brown glow is sun damage and it will be the precursor to more damage in the future. While the bronze goddess look was all the rage at one time, now we are forced to fake it—for the sake of our skin.
This summer, take the right steps to keep skin healthy, nourished and free from damage. Yes, there will be times that you slip up and feel the burn—we’re all human—but be mindful of how you treat skin during the warmer months. And be prepared when you head out the door.
Yes, you always need sunscreen. And not that SPF 15 light stuff, either. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 (that’s the LOWEST). Sunscreen cannot just be applied once if you’re heading out for a day outdoors. Reapply sunscreen after swimming (or sweating) or according to the bottle. Also, the AAD states that sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before heading out in the sun! So how much do you need? About a shot glass full of the white stuff should cover your whole body. Don’t forget lips…use a balm with SPF 30!
Unless you want to rock some cute crow’s feet before your time, wear sunglasses. Squinting isn’t healthy and the sun also can damage your eyes…resulting in possible cataracts down the road. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends sunglasses that offer 100 percent protection against UV rays. And opt for wider frames, which protect more of the face and eyes.
Invest in an aloe plant, it will be a lifesaver when (or if) you get burned by the sun. The salve found in the plant cools and helps soothe sunburn. Of course, if you don’t have the plant, you can buy the salve or gel at the store.
Use a good moisturizer during the summer. The sun can zap skin’s moisture quickly…especially if you get sunburn. Natural oils like coconut oil or argan oil also help keep skin moisturized. However, coconut oil will clog the pores, so those prone to breakouts should skip this one.
Drink water during the summer! Staying hydrated keeps skin supple. While you don’t have to drink eight eight-ounce glasses a day, make sure you take water with you when heading out in the heat. Keep sipping and stay hydrated! Invest in a refillable water bottle for convenience and portability. Plus, all the plastic from bottled water isn’t great for the environment!
To help show off healthy skin, exfoliate regularly. According to Marie Claire, most dermatologists advise once or twice per week. However, you may opt for less during the summer if skin is irritated. You can use gentle scrubs or even just a washcloth. Just don’t overdo the scrubbing!
Don’t forget your feet!
Running around on sand and concrete at the pools and water parks can tear up the feet. Make sure to moisturize feet and use a pumice stone to tend to any rough spots.
Summer is a favorite season for outdoor fun, but it’s also the prime time for skin to be abused by the sun. Shield delicate skin with hydrating products, sunscreen and proper protection. The sun may be a ticket to paradise, but those rays also can put skin on the fast track to premature aging.