Summer is almost here. Who doesn’t want to be outdoors playing catch on the beach or barbecuing in the backyard? Summer indeed means fun in the sun, but you certainly do not want to get carried away and get too much of it. Exposure to sun’s rays for prolonged periods of time can lead to premature aging and, in extreme cases, skin cancer. If you are looking for ways how to protect skin from sun damage then there are some home remedies that can help stop sunburn as well as premature wrinkles and age spots.
1. Avoid the sun and tanning beds
Neither sun lamps nor the sun can give you a “safe tan”. Most of us think that sun damage only occurs when we bake in the sun for long periods of time. However, the truth is: sun damage occurs as soon as you step out of the house, at anytime during the day and no matter if it is sunny or cloudy. Some people tend to get sun burnt within 20 minutes while others might take 2 hours. Turning a shade darker than you are (whether you have naturally fair or dark skin and with or without the use of sunscreen) is the skin’s defensive response to sun damage. So stay out of the sun no matter how alluring the beach might seem. This is one of the best ways how to protect skin from sun without sunscreen.
2. Use a sunscreen
This is a no brainer. If you have to go outdoors, you must use a sunblock or a sunscreen. There is a lot of controversy surrounding sun screen usage; some believe that it prevents absorption of Vitamin D and the chemicals present in sunscreens also cause other skin problems. There is only one thing you should know about sunscreens: They can and do prevent DNA damage, basal cell and squamous skin cancer as well as horrible moles and wrinkles. So use them every day and especially on the days you step out. Look for sunscreens with active ingredients that protect against UVA damage including Avobenzone, Tinosorb, Ecampsule, Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. You can also buy sunscreen based on your particular skin type. Talk to a dermatologist regarding the best sunscreen for you.
3. Understand SPF
A higher SPF number is not about getting better or deeper sun protection but longer. What this means is: SPF 30 allows you to stay in the sun 30 times longer than it would take you to normally get a sun burn. Remember that even a well formulated sunscreen with SPF 30++ will give you only about 97 to 98% protection which means that nearly 2% of sun’s rays are still getting through. We will tell you how to undo this sun damage in a little while.
4. Use the right techniques of sunscreen application
There are millions of sunscreen products available in the market, but the key is to apply them correctly in order to get the best protection. Sun protection is not just determined by SPF and UVA products alone but also how thickly and evenly you apply them. Here are important tips to bear in mind about sunscreen application for ways how to protect skin from sun in summer :
- Liberally apply the product at least 20 minutes prior to leaving the house- not once you reach the car or get to the beach-but before you leave the house.
- No matter how many products you apply to the skin (toners, acne medicines etc) the last product you apply should be your sunscreen. If you apply moisturizer or acne product above the sunscreen, you are inadvertently breaking the protection down.
- If you are using a SPF foundation along with a SPF moisturizer, the SPF number does not add up. You will certainly get some increased protection, but there is no better way of knowing exactly how much SPF you are getting.
- If you decide your SPF moisturizer is your protection, make sure you apply it liberally and evenly. If you blend it off or apply thinly, you are not getting adequate protection.
- Even on cloudy days, the sun’s UV rays are at work. Also, sitting near an open window or near a water body actually increases reflection giving you double whammy of damage.
- Time of the day and altitude of the place matters too. UV rays are harshest between 10 am to 4 pm and increase by almost 4% with each 1000 ft increase in altitude.
5. Use a wide brimmed hat
A wide brimmed hat can protect the head, face, ears and neck. Buy a hat that has a wide brim that goes all the way around your head, neck and ears and is made of canvas which can protect some extent of UV damage. Avoid straw hats with holes that do not block the sun’s rays completely. A darker hat also offers greater sun protection. This is one of the easiest ways how to protect skin from sun rays naturally.
6. Wear protective clothing
On the days spent outdoors, wear loose fitted long sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric that can block UV rays. Darker colors also offer greater UV protection than light colors. Do remember that wet fabric offers lesser sun protection than dry fabric. If you are looking for ways to protect skin from sun damage without using sunscreen, then this is the way for you.
7. Use sunglasses
Sunglasses with polarized glasses and UV protective films prevent sun damage around the eyes and also serious conditions like cataract. Wear glasses that offer maximum protection and fit well around your eyes. Choose sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.
8. Seek shade
Seek shade whenever you are outdoors at midday. Carry an umbrella or stand under a tree when you need relief from the sun. This is an easy way to protect the skin from sun for men and women.
9. Use a serum
No matter how fastidious you are about sunscreen application, some amount of sun damage is inevitable. This is where serums come into play. Serums do work and everyone needs to use them to undo the damage caused by not only the environment but also by hormones, makeup and stress. Look for serums with antioxidants such as green tea, pomegranate, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C etc. These repair age spots and wrinkles and are some of the best ways how to protect skin from sun home remedies.
Use these simple and easy ways to protect skin from sun damage this summer.