6 Tips to Help Keep Your Skin Healthy and Protected From The Sun

6 Tips to Help Keep Your Skin Healthy and Protected From The Sun

Protecting your skin from the sun should be part of your routine year-round, but it’s especially pertinent as we move into the summer. Here are our best skin protection practices to keep your complexion safe and healthy through the summer and beyond. 

Understanding Sun Exposure

First, let’s go over some sun exposure basics. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays that penetrate the skin and affect our skin cells, causing damage. The rays that we need to be most wary of are UVA and UVB rays.

UVA rays (which account for approximately 95% of UV radiation that reaches the earth) have long wavelengths and are the primary cause of premature signs of aging in the skin (such as wrinkles and a loss of elasticity). Meanwhile, UVB rays have comparatively shorter wavelengths and cause the skin to burn. While these rays affect the skin differently, they both cause damage to our skin cells’ DNA which increases our risk of skin cancer.  

Importance of Sun Protection

Knowing how to protect your skin from the sun is essential for defending your skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays and reducing your risk of burning, skin cancer, and premature signs of aging. Ultimately, given the dangers of chronic sun exposure, you need to implement multiple safeguards for optimal protection. This will ensure you are doing your part to prevent damage and maintain healthy skin. 

Tip #1: Use Sunscreen Every Day

Sunscreen shouldn’t be reserved for when you’re lounging by the pool or going on a hike. Your skin is exposed to UV rays daily, whether you’re driving, out for a short walk, or even just sitting by a window at the office. With this in mind, you need to ensure you are wearing SPF every single day to keep your complexion adequately protected against UV rays. 

At minimum, reach for a sunscreen with SPF 30 (although SPF 50 and above is ideal), and be sure to layer it on top of your moisturizer each day. Make sure you’re reapplying throughout the day – especially when you’re spending lots of time outside in direct sunlight. 

Tip #2: Seek Shade During Peak Hours

Of course, you can’t completely avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight. That said, you should be mindful of the times when the sun is the strongest so that you can limit your skin’s exposure to UV rays. 

The peak hours for the sun are between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with it being especially strong right around noon. This timeframe is especially important to keep in mind during the summer, when the UV index tends to be especially high. You don’t have to completely hide from the sun during this time. That said, be sure to stay on top of sunscreen application, and find shade when possible. 

Tip #3: Wear Protective Clothing

Protective clothing can add an extra physical layer of defense against the sun’s harmful rays. Consider investing in some UV defense clothing, which can be especially beneficial when you’re working out outside or hanging out by the pool. A wide-brimmed hat is also key for keeping your face and scalp shielded from the sun. 

Tip #4: Don't Forget Your Eyes and Lips

Don’t forget about the importance of sun protection for the eyes and lips. These areas are especially prone to sun damage, so it’s important to do your part to keep them shielded from UV rays. Apply a SPF lip balm to your lips throughout the day, and wear sunglasses to keep your eyes (and the delicate skin in this area) protected from direct sunlight. 

Tip #5: Stay Hydrated

Hydrated skin equals healthy skin that is able to function optimally. Even when you’re implementing steps to shield your skin from UV rays, it can still feel the dehydrating effects of the sun and the heat – especially in the summer. This means you’ll want to hydrate both inside and out.

In addition to drinking plenty of water throughout the day, care for your skin topically with hydrating formulas. A serum like the Radiant Glow Face & Neck Serum can help replenish water levels (while giving the skin an extra boost of nourishment and antioxidant protection), while a moisturizer like the Freedom Day & Night Moisturizer will seal in hydration while supporting barrier health. 

Tip #6: Regular Skin Checks

It’s important to be proactive with your skin health. In order to catch any abnormalities early and ensure your skin is in good shape, be sure to meet with a dermatologist to get your skin checked. In general, it’s recommended that you see a dermatologist at least once a year, although they can determine a frequency that best suits your needs. 

By implementing each of these steps into your skincare routine, you’ll be doing your part to reduce damage and maintain healthy, happy skin. 

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