It’s possible to have fun in the hot summer sun without falling prey to common skin and health risks brought about by harmful UV rays. Here are some helpful summer skincare and sun safety tips!
Just about everyone loves to have fun in the bright sunshine, but it is important for athletes, sun worshippers and others to understand the dangers posed by the strong rays of the sun. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause a host of health problems, from premature aging and dry skin to skin cancer, and it is important to be aware of the risks.
It is also important to understand the steps everyone can take to protect themselves from these dangers. It is possible to have fun in the hot summer sun without falling prey to these health risks. The key is to prepare for fun in the great outdoors before you head out the door.
Put Together A Sun Kit
One fun way to prepare for summer fun during the cold winter months is to put together a “sun kit”. Preparing a sun kit is a great way to use the time spent indoors productively while getting ready for the warmer and sunnier weather to come. Your sun kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
For the budget-conscious, a sun kit can consist of an unused tote bag or carryall stuffed with tanning lotion, sunscreens, moisturizers and other must have items. Those with more money to spend can add a variety of cosmetics designed to protect your skin from the rays of the sun. If you want you can keep your sun kit in a designer bag, ready for a quick weekend trip to the beach or an extended getaway to your favorite beach resort.
No matter how simple or elaborate your sun kit may be, there are a number of “must have” items that should be included.
Some of the most important elements of any quality sun kit include:
- Sunscreen – SPF30 or better is a good choice
- Facial sunscreen – Many manufacturers carry sunscreens designed for use on the face and neck. Make one of these facial sunscreens part of your sun kit.
- A hat – A simple hat can help keep you cool in the hot summer sun and keep the sun’s damaging rays away from your face. Choose a sun hat with a wide brim for maximum effectiveness.
- A t-shirt or other beach coverup – Hanging out at the beach can be a lot of fun, but getting a bad sunburn is anything but. A t-shirt, beach cover-up or similar item of clothing can help keep your skin protected without sacrificing your summer fun. Choose a shirt that is lightweight but still provides a good level of protection from the sun.
- Sunglasses – Your eyes need just as much protection from the sun as the rest of your body. Choose a pair of quality sunglasses with strong UV ray protection.
Limit Your Sun Exposure
While your sun kit can make being in the sun a lot more comfortable, it is still important to limit your sun exposure. Limiting exposure to the damaging rays of the sun is important at all times of the day, but it becomes even more critical when the sun is highest in the sky. For most parts of the country this occurs between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
During the hottest part of the day, it’s possible to become severely sunburned without even knowing it, so try to stay in the shade as much as possible until the hottest part of the day has passed.
Mitigate the Damage
Even with the best of intentions, severe sunburns can and do happen. Whether it happens as a result of inadequate sunscreen application, poor preparation or just being caught outside unexpectedly, it is important to limit the damage a sunburn can do.
Even one or two severe sunburns can greatly increase an individual’s chances of developing skin cancer, so the best protection is prevention. Even so, when a sunburn does occur there are steps you can take to reduce the damage to your skin and other negative consequences. While skin cancer is certainly the most dangerous result of excessive sun exposure, it is by no means the only one. Too much time in the sun and too little sun protection can also result in premature aging, dry skin and other troublesome symptoms.
One of the best ways to deal with a sunburn and prevent possible sun damage is to keep your skin well cared for and well moisturized. There are a number of cosmetic products on the market that promise protection from the sun and further promise to repair the damage that has already been done. Look for a product with high quality ingredients, and choose a variety that is designed for your type of skin. Those who suffer from oily skin will naturally need a different type of moisturizer than those whose skin tends to be dry.
Also be mindful about what face washes and cleansers you use, because harsh chemical products can imbalance your skin’s oil levels either leaving it irritated and dry or trigger additional oil production. Organic-based and Ph-balanced products such as jojoba and avocado face washes and natural goat milk soaps are all skin-friendly and hydrating leaving your skin soft and ready to absorb your moisturizer in the next step.
Also keep in mind that it may take some time to find the right combination of products to keep your skin looking its best. Every individual will have a different type of skin, and not every product will work the same for everyone. It is important to ask family members and friends for recommendations and to try out several different brands of moisturizers and other cosmetic products before making a final decision.
After you have chosen the perfect moisturizer for your skin, be sure to apply it on a regular basis. It will not be enough to simply apply the moisturizer after you have gotten a bad sunburn. In order to provide the best level of protection the moisturizer you choose will need to be applied consistently every day. Applying the moisturizer every day will help to build up a level of protection that can prevent the damage that would otherwise be done by excessive time in the sun.
Look Your Best
When choosing cosmetic products it is a good idea to look for ones that include some type of UV protection. These days more and more cosmetic companies have been introducing lines of products that promise sun protection in addition to good looks. While these products can be a great value, it is important to ensure that the level of sun protection will be sufficient to keep the sun at bay. It is also important to keep in mind that these products are no substitute for traditional sunscreen, and it is still a good idea to apply a quality facial sunscreen before heading out.
Speaking of looking your best, don’t forget the importance of protecting your eyes from UV rays. Spending a lot of time in the sun without eye protection can cause a variety of problems, and it is always a good idea to invest in a quality pair of sunglasses. When shopping for sunglasses, be sure to look at the level of UV protection they provide. It is a good idea to look for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays, so be sure to shop around for the best quality and the best value.
It is also important to make sure that the sunglasses you choose are comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time. If you choose poorly made and uncomfortable sunglasses chances are they will end up in your purse, where they will provide no protection from the sun’s’ damaging rays. It is far better to spend a bit more and get sunglasses that you will be proud to wear all day long.
Protecting yourself from the potential damage the sun can do is no easy feat, but it is certainly an important goal. From life threatening problems like skin cancer to troublesome ones like dry skin and premature aging, the sun offers dangers as well as benefits. Knowing how to protect yourself means that you can enjoy a summer full of fun without compromising your skin or your good health.
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