Summer is just around the corner and it’s going to be a season where you get to spend most of the day outdoors and enjoying the sun. By now, most of us have a lot of outdoor activities listed and lined up, but we have to remember to take precautions and safety measures while under the sun. Our immediate concern is our largest and most exposed organ – our skin. While suntans are reminders of a great summer, sun exposure also brings along wrinkling, age spots, and skin cancer. To have a worry-free summer, we need to take steps to keep ourselves safe under the sun.
Use UV-Blocking Umbrellas
We have to emphasize the UV-blocking of the umbrella here for skin protection. While conventional umbrellas, parasols, and patio umbrellas do a decent job of giving us shade from the sunlight, we often still feel the heat in our skin. This is due to the penetrating effect of UV rays. When it comes to patio umbrellas, the sunbrella umbrella can provide the UV ray protection that your skin needs. It’s specially made fabric not only acts as a shade but also as a shield against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays on the skin. With this trusty protective device, you can do outdoor activities without worrying about where to find a good shade.
Apply Sunscreen Regularly
Exposing yourself to the sun’s rays today is no longer safe today as compared to several decades earlier. This is due to several environmental factors that led to the lessening of Earth’s natural protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Now, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen every time you go out and irrespective of the season. For regular days outside of the summer season, you can use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or above and should have broad-spectrum protection that includes UVA and UVB rays.
In summer, your sunscreen should be at 50 or higher SPF for better sun protection and you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. The interval between sunscreen applications can be shortened if you are swimming or sweating.
Wear Sun-Protective Clothing
Wear shirts with long sleeves and pants or tights when going outside during summer. If you want to go for a swim, you can use a long-sleeved rash guard to help protect your upper from sunlight exposure. Blazers and jackets can be alternatively used as sun protection when you are venturing outdoors. For hiking, mountain biking, or camping, make sure to wear clothing that has UV protection features to keep you comfortable throughout the day.
Use Hats and Sunglasses
These sun protection accessories can help keep your face and eyes protected from harmful UV rays. These parts of our body are the ones immediately exposed to the sun so make sure to protect them at all times. Use a pair of sunglasses that have total UV protection and wear wide-brimmed hats made out of natural materials like straw, palm leaf, and other plant-based materials. Alternatively, go for a wide-brimmed hat that has UV protection fabric materials to keep your face cool while looking and feeling cool yourself.
Limit Your Outdoor Time
Avoid going out in the sun at certain times of the day where the sun’s heat can be felt the most. As much as possible, minimize or avoid outdoor activities between 10 AM and 2 PM as these are the times the sun shines brightest and feels hotter. Aside from the high risk of sunburn and dark spots, there is also the life-threatening danger of heatstroke during these times of the day. Staying in the water doesn’t guarantee protection during these times because it allows uneven sun exposure for parts of the body that are not submerged in the water. To be safe, stay indoors or under the shade of trees, roofs, or beach umbrellas.
Choose Cosmetics with Moisturizing and UV Protection Features
Having an added layer of protection against the effects of frequent sun exposure is essential. Your sunscreen may not always be enough to keep your skin safe under the sun. While sunscreens mostly offer effective UV protection, they do not protect your skin from getting dry and irritated during prolonged sun exposure. Also, some ingredients like zinc oxide can cause skin drying. As a remedy, you need to apply a moisturizing lotion first before wearing sunscreen so that the sunscreen sits on top of the moisturizer layer. This way, the pores of your skin remain open to secrete sweat and other substances that help keep your skin protected from the sun. Cosmetics with UV protection features can be applied 30 minutes to 1 hour after the application of sunscreen. Aside from looking gorgeous and stunning, you are also enhancing the protection of your skin with the UV blocking ability of your cosmetics.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drinking plenty of liquids (not just water) can help keep your body and your skin feeling cool. This is particularly important as the rate of water loss from your body is higher during the summer season. Always bring with you a hydration pack or simply a tumbler with water. Avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks as these can only worsen dehydration. Do not ignore your sensation of thirst as this is an indication that you need to replenish your body’s liquid content.
Monitor Your Skin Regularly
Be sure to keenly observe your skin for any changes after a day’s exposure under the sun. While redness, slight pain, and minor irritation are normal skin reactions, be sure to consult with a dermatologist if there are changes or new growths that may not be normal. Also, if the irritation and discomfort you are feeling persists, see your doctor or dermatologist as soon as you can.
Our skin is a precious part of our body. It is also the most exposed to the sun, the elements and pollution, which is why we need to pay attention to it and care for it. Skincare doesn’t have to be restrictive of your summertime activities. With careful planning and preparation, you can still enjoy the summer sun while also protecting your skin. So take care of your skin and worry less this summer.