Catch Some Rays— The Importance of Protecting Your Skin When Out in the Sun
The ultraviolet rays of the sun can damage your skin even on cloudy days. The collagen and elastin that keep your skin firm and supple gets destroyed every time you lay out for that gorgeous tan. If you do this often, it will prematurely age your skin and you will eventually look older than you are. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid fun and healthy outdoor activities. It just means you need to take precautions against sun damage.
Wearing long sleeves, hats, and long skirts and pants protect your skin from direct sunlight. Even among clothing, some are better than others. The tightly-knit fabric gives the best protection, and a dry T-shirt protects better than a wet one. Light colors protect less than dark ones. You can purchase clothing that is manufactured to provide UV protection. It’s understandable to wear a swimsuit or shorts and halter top during the summer, but if you do, try to seek shade whenever you can.
Applying sunscreen every two hours when you are outdoors is essential if you want to prevent damaging sunburn. The sun protection factor (SPF) should be higher than 15 and it should protect against UVA and UVB radiation. It’s important to carefully read the ingredients in your sunscreen and avoid sunscreen that contains avobenzone. Some sunscreens have harmful chemicals that actually damage your skin rather than help protect it. Healthy, natural ingredients protect from the sun and are good for your skin.
Protect Your Eyes
The skin around your eyes is more fragile and sensitive than the rest of your body. It is one of the first places that show aging, and the sun doesn’t help. Sunglasses that have at least 99 percent UV protection will help shield the skin around your eyes as well as help prevent the development of cataracts. The most effective way to prevent sun damage to your skin and eyes is to stay in the shade. All over Asia, people use umbrellas to protect from the sun, but this habit was lost in the West. At least at the beach or by the pool using a garden umbrella if you don’t have a shady place to sit.
Once your skin is burned, the DNA inside your cells has already been damaged. While the human body does a pretty good job of repairing itself, and there are a few cosmetic treatments that can reverse some of the damage, it’s not enough. Over time the damage will accumulate and result in wrinkles and skin cancer.
A good moisturizer is key to healthy skin. Choose yours here!