Having fun in the sun is one of life’s great pleasures and an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but not without taking the proper precautions to protect your skin. Sun exposure can be beneficial for the production of Vitamin D, however, exposure to UV rays can also cause sun damage and put you at risk of long-term health implications. The best way to protect your skin is through proper application of a sunscreen of SPF30 or higher tailored to your skin type and environment.
Why Sunscreen Is So Important
UV Rays When UV rays from the sun reach our skin, they cause oxidative (free radical) damage and can damage our skin’s protective layer, disrupting its natural ability to protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Free radicals are also an age accelerator, speeding up the skin’s natural process of aging.
Consistent Use of Sunscreen The consistent use of sunscreen helps protect against these harmful effects and other conditions like skin cancer, premature aging and various skin conditions. Sunscreen protects your skin by filtering out UV rays, preventing damage and providing a barrier against other pollutants like dirt, dust and grime.
How to Properly Apply Sunscreen
In order to get the best protection from sunscreen, it is important to apply it properly.
Facial Sunscreen Start with a facial sunscreen. A mineral sunscreen specifically for the face should be applied after your moisturizer. Apply the sunscreen all over your face, including your neck and any exposed areas of your body. Be sure to apply a generous amount, which is the equivalent of a shot glass or enough to fill the palm of your hand.
Body Sunscreen For the rest of your body, select a physical, mineral sunscreen lotion or spray that offers broad-spectrum, UVA and UVB protection. Start applying your sunscreen 15 minutes before you plan to go outside to give the ingredients time to activate. Reapply every two hours, more often if you are in direct sunlight and after swimming or sweating.
Sunscreen plays an important role in the health and safety of our skin by providing protection from harmful UV rays and pollutants. Remember, no sunscreen can provide total protection, so it’s important to seek shelter during peak times of day, wear appropriate clothing and a wide-brimmed hat or cap, and stay in the shade when possible. With a bit of preparation, it is possible to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine safely.