Last week we talked about how to protect our crowning glory this summer so it would be only fair not to leave the skin out! After all, the skin is our largest organ. Summer is the hottest time of the year and the sun’s ultraviolet rays are VERY damaging to the skin. The rays of the sun are at their strongest between 10am and 4pm and can burn skin within 10 to 15 minutes of exposure. Even on a cloudy day, we are still exposed to up to forty percent of the sun’s rays!
SUNSCREEN: THE REAL FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Sunscreen is not an option, it’s a MUST! It should be applied on a daily basis. It is the ultimate defense against sunburn and skin cancer -- ninety percent of wrinkles are caused by the sun! When buying sunscreen pick a bottle that says it has an SPF 15 (Sun Protection Factor) or higher, water resistant and has a broad spectrum protection. An SPF 30 is recommended, which blocks 97% of the sun’s rays. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays and an SPF 50 blocks 98% which means an SPF higher than 50 is not significantly more effective. You should be using a shot glass full for the body and a full teaspoon for the face. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out and before putting on makeup, and reapply every 2 hours when swimming or planning on staying outdoors for a long time. Also, don’t forget to put some sunscreen or cream on your hands since they’re exposed to the sun every single day especially when driving. Hands could give away your real age!
KISSABLE LIPS ALL SUMMER (AND YEAR) LONG
While we’re all busy applying sunscreen on our bodies, we forget about the lips! Sun exposure may cause lip cancer! The lips do not contain melanin making it more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. It is crucial to keep lips smooth and soft during the summer. Lip balm is very essential and must be applied every single day. Also, drink lots of water to keep lips hydrated. Look for lip products that have an SPF 15 or higher. Stay away from petroleum jelly, shiny lipstick and lip gloss without any color because these attract the sun’s rays and can be very harmful. TIP: Stick to a matte lip product or lipsticks with darker shades and as much as possible try not to use lip gloss. But if you really need your gloss, put some lip balm with SPF 15 or higher first, then apply a colored lipstick and then add some shine.
DRESS TO PROTECT
Photos courtesy of Flavia Desgranges van der Linden
Hats and sunglasses are our best friends in the summertime. Avoid direct sun exposure as much as you can but we know that would be impossible since we constantly have to do things that involve getting out of the house and being outside. Try wearing wide brimmed hats -- a 3 inch brim would be ideal since it shields most of your face, covers your head and ears. The bigger the hat, the more protection it gives you. Baseball hats are not nearly as effective because it doesn’t give you full coverage.
Sunglasses are also extremely important. Constant exposure to sunlight can damage our eyes. Sunglasses help filter light and protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Squinting because it’s too bright can give you wrinkles if done repeatedly. The bigger, the wider and the rounder the sunglasses, the greater the chance of protecting the delicate skin around your eyes and lessens the intensity of the light to reach the back part of the eye.
The clothes we wear also play a role in protecting our skin from the sun. The more skin you cover, the better. Long sleeve shirts, long dresses, skirts and pants are the most shielding. Darker colors provide more protection and tend to absorb UV light, keeping it away from the body. Clothes with knits, made of unbleached cotton, shiny silk and polyesters prevent penetration of the sun’s rays as well. One way to check for sun protection is to hold a piece of clothing up and if you can’t see through it, there is a good chance of keeping the sun from getting to your skin.
PROPER NOURISHMENT IS BEST
Vitamins A, B, and C are especially essential for healthy skin. Vitamin E also helps improve complexion. Check out the video below for more sun protecting food:
HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE!
Staying hydrated is very important especially in the summer since we lose a lot of water and minerals when we sweat. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles, which then helps the muscles remove waste so they can work efficiently. Drink your 8 glasses of water throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables have a high percentage of water too so stock up on these. Add cucumbers, lemon slices or other fruits to water for variety and definitely adds more flavor. Coconut water and aloe vera water are also great healthy drinks to keep us hydrated.
A FEW MORE TIPS:
- Avoid tanning beds. Instead pick safer options such as self-tanning towels and lotions.
- Never pick on your pimples and blemishes to avoid scars and infection.
- Always take makeup off and wash your face before going to bed.
- Do not over wash your skin, this can actually be harmful and causes dryness and redness.
- Exfoliate all the dead cells once a week.
- To the hot shower lovers I have bad news! Hot showers dry out the skin by washing off the skin’s natural oils. Consider cooler, shorter showers. Yes, such a bummer!
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is so vital, we can go hours just talking about its benefits! A lack of sleep slows down our collagen production therefore resulting in losing the skin’s elasticity making it weak and it causes skin to sag and you start forming wrinkles. Not to mention, you’d always look tired and worn out.