How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun During the Dog Days of Summer
We’re deep into the throws of summer, and it’s hot, hot, hot outside. Sky-rocketing temps means more time is being spent outdoors with less clothing, which can be a recipe for disaster for skin that’s not adequately safeguarded. For the sake of being uber repetitive, it’s important to shield skin from the sun’s dangerous UV rays and the long term damage it causes. Of course, this holds true during all seasons. Below, we’re sharing some helpful tips to help you beat the (summer) heat and keep your skin protected.
CHOOSE SUNSCREEN WISELY
By now, you likely already know that unprotected sun exposure can lead to premature aging of the skin, including dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines, and even some skin cancers. Don’t stand by and let it happen! Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen—SPF 15 or higher—on your face and body every day, regardless of whether you’re laying out on the sand. Pick one that’s formulated for your skin type (this is a must-do for all products you use), is non-comedogenic (so your pores don’t get clogged), and leaves no residue (to avoid a white, ashy look on skin.) We like Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50. The non-greasy, lightweight blend helps neutralize skin-damaging free radicals and protect your skin.
Important: Sunscreen doesn’t last all day. Reapply SPF at least every two hours, sooner if you sweat excessively or go for a dip and towel dry.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
This one is obvious, but bears repeating: The sun can cause your skin to dry out. In addition to hydrating your skin on the outside with sunscreen and SPF-formulated moisturizers, hydrate your body on the inside, too. Carry water with you wherever you go. It’s not a bad idea to cut down on alcohol and caffeinated beverages since they can dehydrate your skin when over-consumed. And lastly, when you wish to take a shower—opt for cooler water rather than scolding hot—immediately apply lotion afterwards while skin is still damp to help lock in moisture.
WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Clothing is the best means of sun protection, blocking much of the harmful UV rays sent our way. The more skin you cover, the better. Do the best you can to cover up with breathable, lightweight fabrics, and consider investing in a wide-brimmed sunhat and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your face.
SEEK SHADE PERIODICALLY
Even the most dedicated sun-worshippers need a break from the heat sometimes. Avoid peak sun hours—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.—when the rays are most direct and powerful. If you must be outside, seek shade under an umbrella, tree, or covered awning. When possible, step into a cool, air conditioned place. Remember: UV rays can penetrate through windows. If you sit by a window in the office all day, retreat to a cooler area away from natural sunlight throughout the day to give your skin a break.