The arrival of summer means warm weather, beach excursions, and vacations, but all this time enjoying the outdoors also means your skin is going to get a lot more sun exposure, and you need to take steps to protect it. Not only do you want your skin to be at its best when you’re exposing it for the world to see, but failing to prepare your skin for warmer weather can cause damage that persists during other times of the year. This is why it’s important to prepare your skin for sun exposure, so take these tips under advisement.
The most basic way to avoid sun-damaged and sun-aged skin is to simply not give those UV rays a chance to reach you in the first place. Sunlight is at its strongest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., so consider this your “danger window.” During this period, shade should be sought out, whether it takes the form of a beach umbrella, a large tree, or the shadow cast by a nearby building.
Keep in mind, though, that this doesn’t mean you have to employ a vampire-level avoidance of direct sunlight. Yes, exposure can damage your skin, but meaningful risk only kicks in during extended periods of sunlight. Unless your skin has been made extra sensitive by a recent beauty treatment, you can likely experience a few minutes of direct sun without much long-term risk. Obviously, the strength of the sunlight matters as well, so pay attention to the UV index to know when you’re facing a lower- or higher-intensity day.
Your clothes can prevent unwanted sun from reaching your skin. Beyond serving as a direct barrier, your wardrobe can be used protectively in two additional ways. The first is to wear a hat with a large brim. These types of hats will help protect your face from the sun’s rays and depending on their size and the time of day, your shoulders and part of your upper body as well. The second way is to lean toward light colours. Dark colours absorb light and brighter ones reflect it. Not only can lighter colours help keep the sun at bay, but you’ll feel cooler and more comfortable overall.
Use Sunscreen Properly
The last method to use when preparing your skin for sun exposure is, of course, applying sunscreen. Not all sunscreens are created equal, but knowing what to look for in your products and how to apply them correctly will go a long way to keeping your skin free of unwanted damage and lines.
One of the most important things to remember about sunlight is that it is actually two different types of rays. The first, UVA, has a longer wavelength and is capable of reaching the deeper layers of the skin where it can negatively impact collagen, elastin, and other important structural features. The second, UVB, doesn’t penetrate as far and gets absorbed by the surface of the skin directly, where it damages the DNA of skin cells and creates phenomena like tanning and sunburns. In order to protect against both types of rays, look for sunscreen that is labelled “broad spectrum” and has an SPF of 30 or higher. If properly used, an SPF 30 sunscreen will protect you from about 95% to 97% of sunlight.
When applying sunscreen, a good amount to use is 1/4 tsp for your face and 1 oz for your body. Make sure to rub thoroughly so that your skin can absorb the sunscreen properly. During extended time outdoors, sunscreen should be reapplied every two to three hours and after any instance of swimming (unless the formula is waterproof), washing, heavy sweating, or towel drying.
The Anti Aging Toronto Clinic prides itself on using the latest clinical methods to give clients the beauty they deserve. We support our clients being able to make the right, informed decisions about their anti-aging skin care, whether at home or at the clinic. Feel free to contact us by phone at 416-546-4664 or by email at info@AntiAgingToronto.ca to ask any questions. Our skin care specialists can also offer you a tour of our Toronto facilities.