Summer sun feels good on our skin, but sunburn, premature aging manifesting as wrinkles and dark spots, and skin cancer are concerns. Here's how to protect and repair skin exposed to summer sun.
Use a sunscreen with an spf of at least 25 that have zinc and/or titanium dioxide. Don't use spf above 50, as it has more chemicals and doesn't give significantly greater protection. For example, a 30 spf supplies 97% coverage; a 50 spf supplies 98% coverage. The FDA says that values above 50 are "inherently misleading", giving a false sense of protection. Research has shown some of these chemicals, like oxybenzone and avobenzone, are absorbed by skin and are hormone disrupting. Look for natural ingredients that provide spf, like zinc and titanium dioxide which are not absorbed by skin.
Avoid retinol, retinyl palmitate and AHA's in your summer daytime moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation. These can increase the risk of sunburn and actually deepen wrinkles when exposed to sun. For a retinol alternative that won't cause issues in the sun, use the Eminence Age Corrective products under a good organic sunscreen.
Take cover, and reapply sunscreen frequently. Wear protective clothing like hats, seek shade and avoid sun between 10am – and 2pm. The FDA now recommends that consumers reapply every 2 hours, but also keep in mind that you'll need to reapply when sunscreen's effectiveness is reduced by sweat or water activities.
Avoid sun when taking certain drugs. Common medicines that cause sun sensitivity include antibiotics, antidepressants (even natural ones like St. John's Wort), benzoyl peroxide, antihistamines, diuretics, antihypertensives, cholesterol drugs, oral contraceptives and HRT's. You are at greater risk for sunburn, skin damage and more when exposing your skin to sun while taking these meds.
Add nutrients and moisture to your skin. Help keep skin healthy and efficiently heal when you do burn. Part of your daily skin routine must include proper hydration and nutrition inside and out. This means drinking adequate amounts of water, avoiding caffeine, eating a broad range of fruits and veggies equal to about half of your plate, and using a nutrient-rich moisturizer of serum on your skin.
If you get a burn - hydrate inside and out, and try these natural sunburn cooling ingredients - stone crop, aloe or apple cider vinegar, applied to skin as cool compresses; oatmeal in a cool bath followed by aloe gel or stone crop lotion; cucumber slices for small areas, like a burn on your nose or cheeks.
So remember, that prevention is key. Moderating sun time and using a proper sunscreen will still allow you to tan, without harmful, aging effects, and you'll have an even look when your skin is well hydrated after sun exposure.
Tips for Calm Living
Health and beauty through massage and organic skincare