How Being Sun-Safe Will Keep Your Skin Looking Beautiful

Taking time to soak in the sun can be wonderful. Outdoor activities such as swimming in the ocean, sitting in a park and going for long, leisurely walks are all fun ways to enjoy a summer’s day. However, it is crucial that when you spend time in the sun, you protect yourself sufficiently from the harmful effects of sun exposure. This is important because sun exposure can cause serious health issues. It can also affect your skin in ways that cause the development of various imperfections. If you care about how your skin looks, you’ll appreciate the benefits of being sun-safe this summer.  

Why Sunkissed Isn’t Best

Having tanned or sunkissed skin has been in fashion for a long time. A lot of people avoid using sun protection for this reason, preferring to be tanned so that they can have a ‘healthy glow’. Unfortunately, the reality of having a tan is that it isn’t healthy, but rather an indication that your skin cells have experienced trauma. Skin darkens as a way to protect itself from UV radiation. Even if you tan easily and rarely burn, you are still at risk of damaging your skin and eventually developing skin cancer.

Furthermore, while sunkissed skin might look nice in the moment, it will eventually cause your skin to appear prematurely aged. Over time, sun exposure will destroy the elastic and collagen fibres in your skin, and cause precancerous or cancerous skin lesions. You are also likely to develop wrinkles, lines, dark spots and freckles. The small blood vessels that sit under the skin could also dilate, while the skin itself could become saggy, yellow and leathery. If your skin experiences sun damage, the ramifications of sun exposure will be even worse.

Sun damaged skin can cause spots, blotches, moles and wrinkles to develop on your skin. You may also notice rough, scaly patches of skin or raised bumps known as actinic keratoses. Discoloured areas that look a bit like freckles can also form along your skin, and these are often referred to as age spots or liver spots. The skin on your face may also become inflicted by red blotches or bumps – a condition called rosacea. Some people also complain about a reddish-brown colour appearing on their neck, and causing burning or itching. 

How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Fortunately, protecting your skin from the sun isn’t difficult. The most important thing is to always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 50+ when going outside. Even if you’re just sitting in a car, your skin can still be affected by the sun streaming in through a window. You should also still wear sunscreen if your cosmetics contain SPF, or if you’ve applied a fake tan. As long as the UV radiation level is at 3 or above, you are at risk of experiencing sun damage. If you’re spending an extended period of time in the sun, remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and use a waterproof sunscreen if you’re swimming. 

That being said, you should avoid spending too much time in the sun if you can. The sun is harshest every day between 10am and 3pm, so it is better to be outside in the early mornings and afternoons. When you are outside, try to stick to shaded areas. Remember that UV rays can still pass through clouds, so even on darker days, seeking protection from trees, umbrellas or canopies is recommended. You should also wear protective gear such as sunglasses, hats and full-coverage clothing. Long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants made of cotton or linen are preferable, as well as lycra-based swimsuits. You should also make use of lip balm and moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated, and if you do get sunburnt, treat the area immediately with aloe vera.  

How to Reverse Skin Damage From the Sun

If you’re concerned that you might already have some skin damage – don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to alleviate symptoms and reverse some of the visual repercussions of sun exposure. Exfoliating, for example, can remove the buildup of dead skin cells that develop over time. Topical creams, such as those containing AHA or hyaluronic acid, can also be applied to help your skin. Additionally, the minimally invasive procedure microdermabrasion will renew your skin tone and texture, making your skin look smoother.

Don’t Cut Out the Sun Altogether!

While sun exposure is dangerous, it is still important to get some sun every day. Sunlight helps your skin make vitamin D, which is required for bone function and health. Additionally, sunlight will help keep your sleeping pattern on track. If you don’t get as much sun as you should, you could even develop the form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder. Fortunately, you only need 10-30 minutes of sun a day to get the vitamin D you require. 

Be Safe & Look Beautiful This Summer!

When you’re having a great time in the sun, it can be easy to let protective measures fall to the wayside. You might forget to reapply sunscreen, or neglect to pack a hat for your day at the beach. This summer, it’s important to break these habits and start being sun safe everyday. Practising sun safety will help to protect you from serious health issues, and will keep your skin looking young and healthy for far longer. So stay safe this summer — your skin will thank you for it!

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