It’s time to take out your favorite SPFs and head over to the beach!
As much as you love sun bathing or spending your time in the water during summers, remember there is nothing as being too safe when it comes to sun exposure. A little amount of sun is always good especially considering it’s our vital source of Vitamin D. However, unnecessary and unprotected exposure can lead to severe consequences with skin cancer being one of the life-threatening ones.
So before you head out for a day at the beach, check out our top 9 sun protection tips for this beach season:
Cover Yourself With SPF Before You Put On Clothes
Treat your body to a healthy dose of SPF right after you step out of the shower, before you put on clothes. This way there is absolutely no chance of missing any spot on your body. Moreover, it helps ensure that the SPF solution is completely absorbed without having to miss out on any protection in case the clothes rub some off.
Another reason to apply SPF before you get dressed is that any average or even good SPF would take at least 20 minutes to be absorbed and activated within your skin for complete sun protection. So if you head out right after you apply SPF, that’s doing you absolutely no good. However, if you apply it before getting dressed, by the time you are out in the sun, the SPF is in full swing, guarding you from those harmful UV rays.
Choose A Multipurpose Sunscreen
Since sunscreen adds another layer of product to your already long skincare and makeup routine (thanks to Korean beauty regimens), it is better to opt for multi-purpose sunscreens. For example, if you have a standing dryness issue, opt for sunscreens with soothing ingredients. If you are in your 30s, look for a sunscreen that has anti-aging properties in it.
This way you get to target more than one problem at a time without having to smother your skin with unnecessary goop.
Pick A Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
You have read the term broad spectrum on a number of sunscreens and you probably are already using it too; but do you know how it’s actually helping you fight the harmful sun rays?
The sun’s rays are composed of two different types of rays: UVA and UVB. UVA is more penetrative than UVB and can lead to premature skin aging while UVB works to burn the superficial layers of your skin. While the extent of damage is different for both kind of rays, both UVA and UVB increase the risk of skin cancer.
A broad spectrum sunscreen works to protect your skin from BOTH these UVA and UVB rays. So while you may think that you do not need protection from one or the other, remember both can cause severe damage and the only protection is via a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Avoid The Sun At Peak Hours
While sunscreens give considerable protection against the harmful sun rays, it is still not enough. The solution? Avoid the sun at peak hours.
Limit your exposure to direct sunlight between the hours 10 am to 4pm. If you do need to go out try to walk/sit in the shade while wearing protective clothing and of course, ample amount of sunscreen.
Re-Apply Sunscreen Every 2 Hours
You know the 20 minute rule of applying sunscreen before heading out now but did you know that you need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours to ensure absolute protection especially if you are sweating a lot and/or are swimming/bathing?
No matter how waterproof your sunscreens claim to be, water and sweat do affect their effectiveness; hence, the need for reapplication.
If you are not under direct sunlight continuously or under water, you can just apply it once again during the day.
For those of you wearing full makeup with constant exposure to the sun, try using makeup with built-in SPF. For reapplication, keep makeup wipes handy. Once during peak sun hours, remove your facial makeup (not your eye makeup) with the wipe and reapply sunscreen before re-doing your makeup. Since eye makeup takes the most time, not removing it will make the reapplication process much more practical and convenient.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Sunscreen is not the only sun protection you need while you are out in the sun.
Being dehydrated while being continuously out in the sun during summer months can cause much more severe problems (heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration) that your long-term skin cancer concern. And, all of those being immediate.
Hence, do remember to keep your hydration levels up and above normal at ALL times. While other drinks and fruits are a good option to stay hydrated, you simply cannot undermine the importance of drinking pure water.
Make sure you drink at least half your body weight in water throughout the day. If you are always on the go, opt for bkr glass water bottles – they are BPA-free, phthalate-free, adorable and addictive. The concept of luxe water bottles might seem a little out there but since drinking water is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL, why not give the task a class while we are at it. Plus, admit it, drinking from a couture accessory rather than a plastic camping equipment is more fun!
Try Opting For A Higher SPF
“SPF is a measurement of how well sunscreen can protect you from sunburn. Using SPF 15 sunscreen means it will take 15x longer for skin to begin to burn than it would without sunscreen.”
While SPF of a minimum 15 is essential, you can and you should opt for a higher one if available and why not. Dermatologists recommend a minimum of SPF 30. However, a lot of people, including us unfortunately, are guilty of not applying enough or not reapplying it throughout the day.
Therefore, since SPF number is directly proportional to the sunburn protection level provided, it is better to use SPF 50 or even higher to guarantee absolute protection in case you are missing out due to skimpiness or forgetting to reapply.
Wear Protective Clothing
Just like drinking water, wearing protective clothing provides you with an extra level of protection while you are out in the sun.
Opt for wide-brimmed hats to ensure the sun does not your face directly and choose tighter weave, brighter colored clothes while you can. If you are up for absolute protection, there are options available for UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing as well!
The Different Types Of Sunscreen
Let’s end the physical and chemical sunscreen arguments by clarifying right here, right now that ALL sunscreens have chemicals in them. How else would they be made?
The difference in the ingredients is that of being organic or inorganic. The ones make out of inorganic ingredients work by blocking and dispersing UV rays, hence the incorrect association with it being a “physical” sunscreen. This blocking action is also why these sunscreens appear opaque and leave a white residue on your skin (ghost face, anyone?)
The organic compound sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays to ensure protection.
Which one is better, you ask? None. They both work equally well, unless you are allergic to ingredients of one or the other.
Have a safe beachy summer!