People believe that beauty is only skin deep; what matters is what's on the "inside." And although the sentiment rings true, our skin is arguably just as important.
Our skin is our first line of defence against the outside world. And because it is so important in safeguarding your body, it's critical to support skin health. Skin care doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming, and it may become second nature as soon as brushing your teeth. Here are some of our tips to protect your skin during the scorching summer heat.
Apply sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy
The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays cause skin damage. It's crucial to protect your skin from UV radiation whether it's sunny or cloudy outside. Wearing sunscreen is one way to do this.
Make sure it says "wide spectrum" on the label, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Fifteen to thirty minutes before heading outside, apply at least one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass). Use a lip balm or lipstick with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields you from UVA and UVB rays. Make sure it's waterproof and has at least an SPF of 30. Also, keep an eye on the expiration date! Apply sunscreen liberally. Reapply it every two hours. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating.
Put on a hat and sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection
Ideally, we should wear long sleeved shirts and pants to the beach for maximum protection. But if you are in your beachwear, you could choose to wear a hat and some sunglasses.
Wearing a hat with a 2-inch or 3-inch brim keeps the sun off your face while also providing shade for your eyes. Meanwhile, wearing sunglasses can protect your eyes and the sensitive skin around them from the sun's glare. Protective sunglasses protect the delicate skin surrounding your eyes and help avoid cataracts. If you feel your eyes getting dry with the heat, you can always carry some eye drops with you!
Avoid the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM
This is when the sun is the brightest and most likely to cause sunburn. If you must be outside during these hours, use an umbrella, a tree, or another sort of shelter to provide shade and to prevent hyperpigmentation. Even in the shade, use protective gear and sunscreen. If you have to be out, consider taking extra measures, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and extra sunscreen, to protect your skin! For a good rule of thumb, practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at its strongest. So, seek shade immediately!
Protect against other types of burns
The sun isn't the only thing that can harm your skin. You should also take precautions to avoid accidental burns, such as hot sand, hot BBQ grills, and seats that have been under the sun for too long. Since the overall temperature is hot, it amplifies anything that may cause burns to your skin upon contact.
Be aware of medications that makes you more sensitive to the sun
Antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs can make you more photosensitive. Antihistamines, such as Benadryl; NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen; antibiotics, such as Bactrim or Tetracycline; antidepressants; antipsychotics; and several oral diabetic medicines are examples of common pharmaceuticals. Consult your pharmacist about any pharmaceutical side effects, but if you’re taking any of these medications on the list, consider slathering more sunscreen or take extra precautions protecting your skin!
Give extra protection to children
Children under the age of six months should not use sunscreen, but should be shielded from the sun by wearing protective clothing and seeking shade. When outdoors, children aged six months and up should use sunscreen on a regular basis. They should reapply when you do, sometimes even more frequently, as their skin is more sensitive than yours.
Skip the tanning bed
Skip indoor tanning! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, just one indoor tanning bed session in your lifetime might increase your risk of skin cancer by up to 20%.2 If you must have that sun-kissed glow, use a self-tanning body lotion. Works just as good!
Check your skin for blemishes regularly
Examine your moles, freckles, and birthmarks for any changes, or additional marks that look out of the ordinary, especially on aging skin. In addition, keep an eye out for any new skin modifications. Use a mirror to check hard-to-see spots, and schedule frequent skin exams with your doctor or dermatologist.
Make healthy lifestyle choices
Above all, our lifestyle dictates our skin’s condition. So we should be take note of the following:
- Avoid smoking to keep your skin healthy. Smoking harms the skin's collagen and elastin.
- Use mild soaps and moisturizers on a daily basis to pamper your skin. For options promoting sustainability, you can go for organic soaps and moisturizers. They’re usually paraben and sulfate free, which are good for your skin as well!
- Hot baths should be avoided since they might deplete essential oils from your skin.
- To keep moisture in your skin, pat dry after showering. Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water.
- Get regular sleep and engage in stress-relieving activities.
Taking care of your skin in the summer shouldn’t be so difficult. Just remember to wear sunscreen and protective gear whenever you go out. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid things that can hurt your skin, like tanning beds. And while you’re saving your skin from sunburns, why not save the world from harmful chemicals as well? Get ocean-friendly 100% mineral sunscreens from SETT Surf.
Kindly written for SETT by Katie Pierce: firstname.lastname@example.org