Exposure to sun and high temperatures can damage skin, giving us premature wrinkles and dry skin. Keep in mind that we need the sun to allow our skin to manufacture Vitamin D, a main ingredient for strong bones. Fortunately, nature has given us some measure of protection in the form of melanin. Melanin not only gives the skin its color, but also protects us against Ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, when our skin is unprotected and sun exposure is greater than melanin can process – sunburn develops.
In order to protect ourselves against UV, we need take a few simple steps.
Wear Sunscreen. You should wear sunscreen at all times. Add it to your daily routine! Apply sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. But if you are planning outdoor activity, or spending time by the swimming pool, lake or beach, wear SPF of at least 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen a half hour prior to going out to give enough time for the skin to absorb. Keep re-applying every two hours to maintain protection. But, always use common sense. When you are wearing sunscreen, it doesn’t mean that you can sit under the sun the whole day. Sunscreen does not protect you 100% and you will end up with sunburn. To apply a proper amount of sunscreen make sure to read the instruction on the label.
Limit your activity. Don’t hang out in the direct sunlight, or better yet stay indoors between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun’s ray are the strongest.
Wear protective clothing. Wear the type of clothing that blocks out light – wear light and long-sleeved shirts. Try to cover up as much of the skin as possible.
Protect your eyes. Sunglasses are a basic tool to protect your eyes and the delicate skin under the eyes, including eye lids and brow bone area. You should continue protecting your eyes not only during summer months, but all year round. Wraparound sunglasses tend to cover your eyes, as well as the sides, to prevent sunlight from seeping through.
Wear wide brimmed hat for protection. It covers your face, side and back of your neck.
Don’t ignore moisturizer. Keep your skin hydrated with rich, high quality lotion that can protect skin from drying. High quality lotion can trap in moisture and keep skin soft.
And finally, follow the Australian saying “slip, slop, slap!”
SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a hat.