It only takes about 15 minutes for ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun to cause skin damage. Prolonged exposure and damage can lead to various forms of skin cancer, but, luckily, most of which are preventable. It’s not only the sun that is skin-damaging; tanning beds, smoking, and an unhealthy diet can all have ill effects on your skin.
It’s important to know how to take care of your skin, especially when exposed to the sun. Here are nine tips to protect your skin this summer!
1. Try and avoid the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is the time when the sun is most intense and produces the highest levels of heat for the day. If you can’t avoid being outside during these hours, use an umbrella, a tree, or another type of shelter to seek shade. Also, use protective clothing like hats, long sleeves, and sunscreen even when in the shade.
2. Use sunscreen when outdoors. Higher SPF numbers indicate increased protection. We recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Use sunscreen even on cloudy or cool days, as damage from the sun’s rays can still occur. After swimming or when sweating, re-apply every two hours. Check the expiration date, as shelf life is typically three years, and less if it has been stored in high temperatures. When sunscreen has expired, there is basically no protection from the harmful UV rays. It can also be beneficial to incorporate a facial sunscreen every day, rain or shine, so your skin will always be protected.
3. Wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. Proper, protective sunglasses help prevent damage to the sensitive skin around your eyes, as well as cataracts. When we don’t have sunglasses to protect our eyes, we automatically squint to protect ourselves from the bright and intense rays of light. This stresses the skin around our eyes and can cause premature wrinkles and crow’s feet.
4. Invest in proper headgear. A wide-brimmed hat can protect your face, ears, and neck. If wearing a baseball cap, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck and ears, as well as wear protective clothing that covers exposed areas.
5. Be aware of medications that increase your sensitivity to the sun. Common antihistamines, such as Benadryl; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin or ibuprofen; certain antibiotics, including Bactrim or Tetracycline; antidepressants; antipsychotics; and some oral diabetic medications can make you more sensitive to sunlight. Be sure to check with your pharmacist regarding your medication’s side effects.
6. Protect youngsters. Children younger than six months should not use sunscreen, but it is important that they are protected from the sun’s rays with protective clothing and shade. Children six months or older can and should have sunscreen applied regularly.
7. Perform regular skin checks. It might seem like a tedious task, but always be on the lookout for any changes to moles, freckles, or birthmarks. Additionally, monitor for any new skin changes that have occurred. Use a mirror to evaluate hard-to-see areas and have regular skin evaluations by your healthcare provider or dermatologist.
8. Avoid using tanning beds. Tanning beds increase the risk for skin cancer, including melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Tanning beds produce harmful UVA and UVB rays, and there is also no proven evidence that using tanning beds to obtain a base tan decreases your risk of sunburn. Beyond that, tanning beds increase the chance of developing cataracts and ocular melanoma.
9. Make healthy lifestyle choices. The choices we make in life can often be shown through our skin. To maintain healthy skin, refrain from smoking as it damages collagen and elastin in our skin. Avoid using products with harsh chemicals; instead, use mild soaps and daily moisturizers and treat your skin gently. Try and limit your hot showers, as this can strip essential oils from your skin. Pat down your skin after bathing to retain its moisture. Don’t forget to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain. Most importantly, don’t forget to hydrate! Drinking more water will definitely reflect through the health of your skin. It’s also important to engage in stress-reducing activity and get a full night’s sleep.
Clearview MediSpa, located in Toronto, provides state-of-the-art services to enhance your appearance and restore the confidence you may have lost along the way. We provide everything from wrinkle treatments to facials, peels, and more. To learn more about Clearview MediSpa, give us a call at 416-445-2639 or contact us here.