Summer calls for beachside relaxation or outdoor pool swims. Not to be a downer, but the #1 type of cancer in the United States is basal cell carcinoma — skin cancer. With record-breaking temperatures and intense heat, it's crucial to have sun safety in mind. We've got you covered with five fresh tips to keep your skin protected.
#1 - STRENGTHEN YOUR SKIN BARRIER
We covered how to repair your damaged skin barrier before, but here's the summary: hydrate and replenish your skin with moisture-rich ingredients. Typically within four weeks your skin barrier will cover. Ingredients like ceramides and squalene are fantastic at keeping your skin barrier strong. Why?
- Ceramides are made up of long-chain fatty acids that help create your skin barrier, locking moisture into your skin.
- Squalene is both a highly-effective emollient and natural antioxidant, reversing UV damage.
#2 - SFP IS YOUR FRIEND
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommend a minimum SPF of 15, but we're going to side with the American Academy of Dermatology Association. They recommend a minimum SPF of 30!
- As a general rule of thumb, sunscreen should be the last step of your morning skincare routine and goes on after your moisturizer and serum.
- Look for SPF that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength, and is associated with skin aging. Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning.
#3 - LEAVE PERFUME FOR EVENINGS
Did you know perfume directly on skin undermine's the skin's ability to protect itself from UV damage? Sun exposure on fragrance exacerbates the skin's inflammatory response, triggering the melanocyte cell and damaging how it works. The melanocyte cell produces and contains melanin, the skin-darkening pigment that protects the skin from cancer. Basically, exposing your perfumed skin to UV light is disrupting your skin from protecting itself against cancer. Who knew?
#4 - PROTECT YOUR POUT
Our lips don't make enough pigment to protect itself against the sun. Lips also have the highest incidence of skin cancer compared to other parts of our faces! Like the rest of your skin, use products that contain SPF 30 or above to prevent lip damage and aging. Balms and lipglosses are readily available at SPF 30. Lipsticks with deeper pigment can provide some protection as they are often made from zinc and titanium, ingredients used in sunscreens.
#5 - SUNBURN REDUCTION
Already have sunburns leaving your skin bright red? Avoid the sun and stay sheltered to heal.
- Take a cool bath or shower to reduce the heat.
- Then apply aloe vera gel or juice squeezed directly from the aloe plant. It's anti-inflammatory and can help prevent the burn from deepening. If you don't have aloe, apply moisturizing lotion that doesn't contain alcohol.
- Drink extra water to prevent dehydration, especially since sunburns draw fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body.