When it comes to perfect weather, there’s no season more agreed upon than the summertime. The breeze blowing through your hair, the flowy, light clothing options that come out to play, and the sunkissed glow of your tanned skin are all amazing perks to the summer’s greetings. Beautiful and warm as you may feel after spending some time in the sunshine, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are nothing to mess around with.
Protecting your skin is a crucial item on your summer to-do list. Even if it’s cloudy, exposing your skin to the sunlight can be dangerous— and we’re not just talking about the sting of a nasty sunburn. Properly protecting yourself from the sun will not only prevent you from becoming the victim to a burdensome and unsightly burn but will protect you from dangerous skin cancers that can develop from exposure.
With these 6 ways to protect your skin, you’ll be able to step out with confidence and enjoy the gorgeous weather without a worry in the world!
1. Buy the right sunscreen
Not all sunscreens were created equal. Choosing between SPF 15, 30, or 50 can make finding the best sunscreen for you feel near impossible. Fortunately, there is a science behind the many SPF (sun protection factor) numbers. According to a study completed by Free People, SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. The difference between the three is minimal, but we recommend SPF 30 as a standard for all skin tones.
Those with darker skin have natural protection against the sun due to their higher melanin levels, so using an SPF 15 sunscreen may be sufficient. For those with medium to light skin tones, SPF 30 is standard. For those with light to pale skin tones, SPF 50 or higher will best protect you from UVB rays.
Pro-tip: Look for a sunscreen without oxybenzone, cylcopentasiloxane, and methylisothiazolinone. Your skin and body will thank you later!
2. Apply, reapply, and reapply again
Let’s say you apply your first coat of sunscreen at 9 in the morning, just before you set out for your day of adventure. By 11 a.m. you’ve been outside in the sun for two hours, you’ve got a little sweat on your forehead and your toes are just about to start aching. What better time to take a moment to reapply your sunscreen?
Using the two-hour reapplication process as a general rule of thumb ensures your skin is constantly protected. This is especially important to remember on beach days. Water-resistant sunscreens protect your skin for about 40 minutes whereas waterproof sunscreens protect for about 80 minutes. And if you’re depending on a towel to dry off, keep in mind that wiping off excess water will also result in rubbing off the sunscreen. We recommend reapplying as soon as possible once you’re dry.
3. Limit your time in the sunshine
Limiting the amount of time you’re in the sun is a great way to minimize your chances of damaging your skin. The sun’s rays are the strongest between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. It’s pretty difficult to avoid this huge chunk of daytime, so should you venture out during the sun’s primetime, seek shade or create your own.
4. Cover up with clothing
Summer sunshine usually means summer temperatures— and with hotter weather often comes minimalist clothing. Covering up with long-sleeved clothing or long pants may not be the most comfortable option, but it is incredibly protective for those more prone to sun damage. We recommend opting for light materials to avoid any discomfort and prevent overheating.
Accessorizing your outfits with sun-shielding items is a great way to protect yourself. Floppy hats and baseball hats are great for any occasion. Sunglasses are a total must and add a splash of casual luxury to any ensemble. Lightweight scarves are fashionable and functional— the ultimate summer blend.
6. Add protection to your beauty routine
Ladies, did you know there are a number of skincare and cosmetic products that come infused with sunscreen? BB creams, primers, moisturizers, setting sprays, lip balms, and foundations are all routine essentials that can come with SPF protection. Check to see if your favorite brands have any sun-friendly products that you can stock up on.
No matter what’s filling up your summer schedule, make sure protecting your skin is at the top of your list!