Dos and Don’ts of Sun Exposure: How to Protect Your Skin
Summertime is a season for spending time outdoors, traveling, feeling free, enjoying life and socializing. Cool drinks, light clothes, and carefree mindset make this time of the year perfect for those who pursue good time and lasting memories. The mighty Sun, a life giver to almost all earthly creatures, brings many benefits to our health, starting from boosting vitamin D to regulating our mood, sleep cycle, and our metabolism. However, although quite generous, Sun can also be very cruel and create numerous skin problems, from usual sunburns and faster aging to more severe conditions. To reap the benefits of this precious element, here are basic dos and don’ts that will keep you tanned, but still safe.
Do expose to sun unprotected
But not for too long. Although you are most likely to avoid direct sunlight around the noon, know that around this time of day, UVB rays are most effective in reaching your skin and triggering vitamin D production, while UVA rays have decreased wavelengths. Still, overexposure to sunlight, especially if unprotected can burn your skin, so make sure to spend no more than 15 minutes out in the sun.
Don’t forget about time
Overexposure to sunlight will surely cause you sunburns. Tightened and painful skin, redness, and peeling skin is quite the opposite of summertime easy living, so keep track on how much time you are spending out in the sun and never, ever, fall asleep on the beach.
Do the skin protection from inside
No, don’t eat sunscreen products, but watch what you eat instead. Food can help you to improve your skin ability to protect from harmful UV rays. Fruits and veggies like berries, carrots, tomatoes, watermelons, and spinach contain antioxidants and elements like lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene which all improve skin health.
Don’t think it is safe out there because it is cloudy
You can get sunburned even on a cloudy day since UVA rays (yes, the bad ones) can easily penetrate clouds and damage your skin without you even noticing it. Also, the same goes for the cold weather and sun exposure in a cold climate. Temperature has little to do with skin damage, so be extra careful during the winter, because snow and ice can reflect UV rays.
Do experiment with SPF formulas
Not all of the SPF products will suit you since some are heavy on the skin, while others are sticky. Look for the one that feels good, suits your skin and is easy to apply. Get some oily sunscreen formula that will protect you and make your skin looks fine.
Don’t try to save on SPF
Apply it generously and make sure to cover parts of the body that are often overlooked, like the middle area of your back. Also, don’t use SPF below 30 since it will not protect you. Make sure to reapply every hour and a half or so, and don’t forget that no SPF
Do spend time in the shade
Whether it is a tree, patio umbrella or any other cover, use it to enjoy warm days by getting away from the direct sunlight. Any shade is useful, regardless of the size, so make use of wide-brimmed hats as well as long-sleeved shirts and pants, preferably made of light fabric.
Don’t assume indoors are completely safe
Concrete, glass, water, and other surfaces can reflect UV rays, so staying indoors is not that safe unless you have tinted windows or some quality awnings. For instance, installing retractable awnings will block almost 100% harmful UV rays. Likewise, installing special window film on your windows can significantly lower UV radiation, keeping your home, office or car one of the safest place under the sun.
Do keep an eye on your moles
Check your skin regularly and look for any changes. Look for the moles that are asymmetrical and in different colors that the rest of the moles on your body. Moles shouldn’t change much over time, so if you spot any changes in size or shape, make sure to deal with it.
Don’t ignore changes on your skin
If you notice anything suspicious going on, like new big moles or any other pigmentation abnormalities, do not wait to see what will come out of it. Avoid further sun exposure and make an appointment with your dermatologist.
Be aware that there is a thin line that turns the sun from a friend to an enemy.
Being careful will allow you to enjoy warm summer days without annoying side effects. Be smart and know when to soak up the sun as well as when to look for shade. Bronze skin is a lovely accessory, but cover it with some fabulous summer clothes and show off your tan when it is safe to do so.