Sunny days are just around the corner. If you are worried about sun damage, here are six summer skincare tips to help you stay sun-safe.
CARE FOR YOUR LIPS
Most women neglect their lips when it comes to their summer skincare routine. But your lips possibly are the most vulnerable as far as sun damage is concerned. The lips have no protection. They have a few oil glands, so they cannot create the melanin needed to filter out the sun's UV rays. You need to wear sunscreen lip balm all the time and reapply it often. Opt for a lip balm that contains UVA-protecting ingredients like avobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
UP YOUR VITAMIN D LEVEL
Increase your intake of Vitamin D since the 'sunshine pill' is crucial for skin protection. In fact, calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D, helps with skin cell growth, repair and metabolism. It also prevents skin ageing. If you are Vitamin D-deficient, eat a Vitamin-D-rich diet and take supplements. Read what foods are rich in Vitamin D from here.
Always have sunscreen on anytime you step out. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF level of at least 50 or higher. The SPF level shows how long the sunscreen can protect you from the sun. You can use a sunscreen with a lower SPF (say 30) when you are indoors (you are still at risk since the sun's rays can penetrate glass windows).
- Even if you have melanin-rich or dark skin, you still need to wear sunscreen to protect you from sun damage.
- Go for a sunscreen that has a broad spectrum; it should protect you from UVA and UVB rays as well.
- Your choice of sunscreen should also be water-resistant since you will spend most of the time swimming. If your sunscreen is not water-resistant, it will come off, and you'll be exposed to the sun. Some sunscreens are water-resistant for up to 40 or 80 minutes. Your choice will depend on how long you intend to swim.
- A good sunscreen should be PABA-free. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is known to cause allergies.
- Choose a sunscreen that won't irritate your eyes, like products that DO NOT contain avobenzone.
- Reapply. Reapply. Reapply. The secret to getting maximum protection during the day is to reapply your sunscreen every now and then. Do this every hour or two, and also when you get out of the water.
CHANGE YOUR BEACH HABITS
You might want to change the time you visit the beach. The sun's rays are usually intense from 10am to 2pm. Earlier mornings or late afternoons are more preferable for a visit to the beach. Visit the beach armed with protective clothing like 99% or 100% UV sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, water shoes or sandals and UV-protected clothing. Put on sunscreen and reapply it often. Do also drink lots of water while at the beach. And do not tan since this exposes you to a lot of UV radiation which causes sun damage or skin cancer.
Wearing water shoes or sandals protects your feet from the heat coming from the sand that can cause sunburn.
WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
If you are not going out to the beach, you still need to dress up to protect your skin from the sun's rays. If you plan to stay out longer, protective clothing like a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses offer extra protection. Plus, you do not need to fuss over reapplying your sunscreen on the parts of your body protected by your clothing. But do remember that wearing protective clothing is not an excuse to skimp on sunscreen. You still need to apply sunscreen to protect parts of your body like your hands and feet that will be exposed.
USE MAKEUP THAT CONTAINS SUNSCREEN
You need to think about protecting yourself when you're wearing makeup. Most women rarely apply sunscreen before making up, let alone reapply it when it runs out. It's a hassle. The best option is to buy makeup products like foundation with built-in sunscreen.
Makeup that contains sunscreen should give you extra protection against UVA and UVB rays.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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