With summer approaching, many of you are excited to get out and active: swimming, running or hiking. During the summer, you have to protect skin from sun exposure and damage. Sunlight contains UV rays, or ultraviolet radiation, which ages the skin and causes cataracts, wrinkles and skin cancer.
It’s too easy to let time slip by and forget to reapply sunscreen, or forget it all together, while working out and having fun. Sunscreen is necessary to keep your skin safe, and it’s best to also combine it with other effective sun-protective methods. Keep these four ways to protect your skin in rotation while outdoors this summer.
- Use Sunscreen and Limit Your Exposure
To minimize your risk of UV ray exposure, limit your time and use the proper sunscreen. UV ray intensity is at its highest from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember the trick your mother taught you: When your shadow is shorter than you are, the rays are at their strongest. Try to venture out only in the mornings and late afternoons.
A good sunscreen contains an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 15 blocks and 93 percent of UV rays on the label, at least. The sunscreen must block both UVB and UVA rays for total skin cancer protection. Follow the directions on the bottle to best protect skin from sun.
- Use Sunscreen Best Practices
While you should follow the bottle’s directions, many people do not read the label or apply too little sunscreen to their body. Remember to use sunscreen best practices:
- Apply water-resistant sunscreen, even if you’re not swimming, because you will be sweating.
- Use sunscreen at least thirty minutes for proper absorption before you go outdoors.
- Use enough sunscreen and apply liberally to your legs, arms, face, neck and back. Focus on hard-to-reach areas or especially sensitive areas with vigilance. An ounce should be enough for the average adult.
- Not All Shade Equally Protects Your Skin
Even when you are going to be in the shade most of the day, the sun will still burn you since not all shade protects your skin equally. UV light is a type of radiation scattered via the clouds and other atmospheric elements. UVB rays, considered the more harmful type, will indirectly reach the skin through diffusion.
The nose and parts of the face are particularly sensitive and vulnerable. Choose the right shade to protect these vulnerable parts, in addition to your standard SPF 15 sunscreen. Wide brim hats, of at least a three inch circumference, will protect your nose and cheeks, but studies reveal these only have an SPF of 5. Larger umbrellas are better than smaller ones but may still have nearly 84 percent of the same degree of UV radiation present as under the sun.
It’s best to combine your use of objects when seeking out sanctuary in the shade. Wear a shirt under your umbrella, with a hat and sunglasses, and always wear sunscreen.
- Consume More Antioxidants
During humid summer months, you know it’s best to drink water regularly, but you can also get benefits and protection from the sun by drinking lots of green tea. Antioxidants offer some protection from the sun’s damage to your skin, and green tea has plenty of polyphenols, which are some of the most powerful antioxidants scientists have researched. Antioxidants work by blocking free radicals and other harmful molecules that age the skin and increase cancer risks.
Green tea also has been proven to raise good cholesterol levels, help you lose weight and reduce overall cancer risk. Beneficial for the whole family, bring along iced green tea during your next run or day at the pool.
Related Post: 8 Vitamin Rich Foods For Glowing Skin
While exercising outside this summer, protect skin from sun damage. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are their strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. So, try to get the most of your time and activity in during earlier or later hours.
Always use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, which is water-resistant and protects from UVA and UVB rays. Even in the shade, combine sunscreen with a wide brim hat and other protective gear. Drink plenty of water and green tea, while consuming more antioxidants to keep your skin happy and healthy this summer.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.