Sun-Kissed, Not Sun Burnt

Friday, August 11, 2017

We all want that perfect sun-kissed glow at the end of the summer, but it can often be a tough balancing act between getting tanned and getting burnt. Your skin care routine during the summer will be vastly different to your usual routine, because your skin is encountering some very different elements. To protect your skin, while still letting it experience the sun, here are a few tips to incorporate into your skin care regime. 

Use sunscreen, not sunblock

It’s been hammered into us since childhood that we should not spend hours in the sun without protection. After all, we all remember when our mothers wouldn’t let us run rampant on the beach until we had been slathered with sun lotion? That said, you have to make sure you use the correct sort of protection. There are two types of sun lotion designed to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunblock is a physical kind of lotion, containing both organic and non-organic ingredients that sit on top of the skin acting as a barrier between your skin and damaging UV rays by reflecting or scattering the light. Sunscreen is a chemical lotion that penetrates the skin and filters the sun's UV rays. Essentially, it keeps most rays out, but lets some in, which means that your skin can absorb the vitamin D emitted by the sun. Since your body still needs to absorb vitamin D for health reasons, sunscreen is the best option for your beach days. A minimum SPF of 30 is recommended and must be applied 20-30 minutes before you head out into the sun. If you are going swimming, then keep applying as and when it gets washed out.

Follow some basic sun safety rules

Nothing provides better protection against sunburn than some basic sun safety rules. In addition to wearing sunscreen whenever you go out - and topping it up throughout the day - you should also avoid tanning between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is strongest, you should wear a hat and sunglasses if you need to go out, and you should always stay hydrated. Not only is drinking water good for your body during a heat wave, water has amazing benefits for your skin that should not be undervalued. 

Keep up a good skin care routine

If you want your tan to look flawless, you need to take good care of your skin before, during, and after spending time in the sun. During the summer, you need skin care routine that keeps your skin clean, hydrated, and free of grime. You might find, you’re more prone to breakouts in the summer because the sweat can clog your pores if you don’t clean your face on a regular basis. You should also use an effective moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out. Any moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid will have incredible benefits for your skin; hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in skin that improves skin hydration, stimulates production of collagen in skin, works as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, and maintains skin elasticity. It doubles as a hydrating moisturizer, and anti-ageing agent. Also, make sure you seek shade during peak sunlight hours, and apply an aftersun lotion after you’ve been out all day. Aftersun lotion can replenish lost moisture in the skin, and soothe the heat that is still radiating from it. Ideally, use an aloe vera based lotion. Aloe vera can replenish the moisture on the skin in small doses. 

Mind what you eat

When the weather is particularly hot the last thing we want to do is eat heavy foods that make us feel sluggish. Unknowingly, you have been doing your skin a huge favor. Heavy foods leave your skin more susceptible to breakouts, which can feel even worse when combined with sweating. Instead, snack on seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the day and avoid sugary drinks. 

Build up a resistance

Even if your skin isn’t prone to sunburn, bear in mind that you did not have extreme sun exposure for several months. To avoid getting burned the first time you step out into the sunlight, make sure you build up a resistance to the harmful rays. Start by laying out in the sun for only 15 minutes, and increase it by five minutes every week. Even after you’ve built up your tolerance to the sun, make sure you don’t sunbathe between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun burns at its brightest. Even with precautions, this is still peak sunburn time. 

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