Protect Your Skin This Summer

Skincare is important year-round, but because summer is the time of year we spend the most time outside, we must take extra precautions to shield our skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are some ways to protect your skin this summer.

Apply Sunscreen

The obvious first step to protecting your skin is using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Broad-spectrum sunblock protects you from UVA rays and UVB rays. According to the FDA, sunscreens labeled water-resistant must indicate whether the formula remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. Remember to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before leaving the house and every two hours thereafter. You should also protect your lips with a balm that has SPF.

Cover Up

Before heading out on summer adventures, check the UV index for the day. When the index is 3 or higher, it is important to cover up as much as possible. Try to wear breathable, light-colored pants, skirts, and long-sleeved shirts or clothes certified under the international standard for offering protection from UV rays.

Wear a Hat

Hats are great fashion statements any time of year, but in the summer, they also help protect you from sun damage. Look for a wide-brim hat that shades your face, neck, and ears. Hats made from canvas fabric are tightly woven and, therefore, more protective against the sun. If you choose a straw hat, make sure it doesn’t have holes that will let the sunlight through. Baseball caps are also a good choice, so long as you apply sunscreen to your ears and back of your neck or can cover up those areas with clothing.

Wear Sunglasses

If you don’t have a set of sunglasses that protect your eyes from both UVA and UVB rays, make sure to get some for your summer outings. Sunglasses lower your risk of cataracts and protect the delicate skin that surrounds your eyes, which is easily damaged. They also keep you from squinting, thus minimizing your chance of developing wrinkles.

Stay in the Shade

When going out to events or BBQs this summer, try staying in the shade as often as possible, whether beneath partial roofs, awnings, large trees, or gazebos. When fixed shading isn’t available, bring an umbrella to block the sun. Most umbrellas block about 75% of UV light; if the umbrella is black, it does an even better job, about 90%.

A good trick to remember when you’re out during the day is to keep an eye on your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than you, it indicates that the sun is very strong, and you want to find shelter or cover up with your umbrella.

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