It’s summertime and it’s all about tanning, laying by the pool, and enjoying the outdoors. However, even if you are wearing sunscreen and getting a tan you are still frying your skin. Sun is great for our overall health. The sun provides our bodies with the Vitamin D it needs, but you should limit your exposure to the sun if you want to lessen your chances of wrinkles and skin cancer.
When you tan, your skin is trying to defend itself against the sun’s UVB/UVA rays to protect your body. A sun tan is the production of melanin in your skin to protect you from the sun’s ultraviolet light. When you get a sunburn it’s a result of that melanin not being able to produce fast enough to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. A sunburn is the worst way you can fry your skin.
How You Get a Sunburn
The sun’s UVA/UVB rays are the strongest from 10AM until 3PM. Your proximity to the equator affects how strong the sun’s rays are in your area, as well as how long they’ll be harmful to your skin. B rays are the wavelength of UV light that can cause sunburns, skin cancer, and malignant melanoma. The sun’s UVA rays penetrate deeply into your skin which can cause premature aging (wrinkles) and skin cancer.
Here’s a chart to help you figure out the VB ray index and how to best protect yourself based on where you’re at:
UV RAY INDEX
A number between 0-15 is given to cities and areas around the United States to rate the strength of ultraviolet rays. Find your area’s ultraviolet ray rating through the National Weather Service and determine your risk factors so that you can take the necessary precautions.
Rating Risk Minutes to Burn Precautions
0-2 Minimal 60 Minutes Sunscreen, UV Sunglasses
2-4 Low 45 Minutes Sunscreen, UV Sunglasses
4-6 Moderate 30 Minutes Sunscreen, UV Sunglasses and Hat
6-10 High 15 Minutes Sunscreen, UV Sunglasses, Hat, Umbrella
10-15 Very High 10 Minutes Sunscreen, UV Sunglasses, Hat, Umbrella & Avoiding Midday Sun
How to Protect Your Skin This Summer
You should always wear an SPF 30 or higher on your face, especially when you’re spending time outside. I’d recommend using an SPF 50, especially if you’ll be by the pool, on the beach, or out hiking with little shade. You should be using this level of SPF on your entire body. Personally, I always wear SPF 50 on my face and body to protect it from the sun in the summertime because of how much exposure it gets! Often, I’ll wear a hat when I’m outside in the summer and recommend that my clients wear a hat to keep direct sun off of their faces. Even if you wear a hat, you’ll still get sun on your face so make sure you have an SPF on. This also applies to your clothing as the sun’s rays can penetrate that as well!
Be sure to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before you head out so that your skin has time to fully absorb the sunscreen before you step outside. Every time you get out of the water (after swimming) make sure you reapply your sunscreen. If you’re at the beach, make sure the sunscreen you choose is “ocean-friendly”. If you’re laying out in the sun, make sure you reapply your sunscreen every 60 to 80 minutes. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and don’t neglect your lips! There are plenty of great chapsticks available that include SPF protection.
How to Best Heal From a Sunburn
If you do get burned, then you can use several home remedies to help ease that burn. Cold compresses of water can help to soothe irritated skin or you can soak your skin in oatmeal or milk to ease irritation. Rose water mist is a great sunburn remedy and can soothe and heal your skin. I recommend aloe vera gel, or Vitamin E oil for the nutrients they have to help heal and soothe your skin as well. Make sure you’re staying hydrated when you’ve been burned as this can help to heal your burn from the inside out. One of my favorite tricks is to keep a moisturizer in the fridge in the summer. If you get burned you can apply it and it will soothe and heal your skin, plus it’ll feel great because of it’s cool temperature!
If you’ve been burned on your face, a facial is a great way to give your skin some extra TLC and help it to heal. If you’re looking for specific products for skincare in the summer, I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have via my social media pages. Above all, stay safe out there this summer but have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having!