The sun is the giver of heat, light and day. Its benefits include vitamin D and better mood. But the sun can also damage human skin. The busy, activity-packed summer months are not far off. Be prepared to practise safe sun this summer by following these few simple steps:
Wear a hat
Putting on a broad-brimmed hat will protect your face and shade your eyes. Extra care should be taken for facial skin, as it is thinner and more delicate compared to the rest of the body.
Be mindful of the sun’s peak hours
The sun is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to stay out of the sun during these hours. If it is unavoidable, cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts and pants — not shorts.
Always wear SPF
Even on a cool, overcast day, the sun’s rays seep through the clouds. Apply sunscreen 15–30 minutes before and after sun exposure. Make sure the SPF is at least 15 and offers both UVA and UVB protection.
Don’t like the sticky feeling of sunscreen? Use a spray, which disperses thin, even layers. Also, many body lotions have SPF mixed into their formula.
Achieving the “healthy” bronzed look is still possible without having to cook under the sun. A tan is a result of melanin pigment being produced by the skin to protect against UV damage. Symptoms of sun damage could be dry and leathery skin, freckles, fine lines, moles and premature aging. Try self-tanners or gradual tan moisturizers, which are risk free.
To protect against free radicals the skin absorbs from sun exposure, incorporate foods rich in antioxidants into your diet. Green tea, pomegranate, blueberries and tomatoes have high vitamin A, C and E. Although topical protection is the most effective, a healthy diet adds to the body’s resilience against damaging factors.