When making your summer checklist, be sure SPF is first on your list!
I cannot stress the importance of SPF. Skin is the body’s largest organ. Although resilient, it needs to be protected, especially since it is exposed to the elements. Sunburns happen when skin cells are damaged by UV rays and the skin sends extra blood to the damaged skin in an attempt to repair it. Counter any damage by applying SPF 30 or higher 20 minutes before you head into the sun and after any water activities. Waterproof or not, always reapply. Not only in the summer, but at all times of the year. Also, don’t forget to check the expiration date on last year’s bottle.
Chlorine and salt water can dry out skin significantly, as well, so make sure your skin and hair are properly hydrated. Before you splash into the beach or pool, exfoliate and moisturize. After-sun lotions are also very helpful in re-hydrating skin after prolonged exposure to sun.
As for hair, I fill a spray bottle with my favorite conditioner diluted with water and spray throughout the day. This conditions tresses that have been stripped from pool and salt water and allows hair to dry silky smooth and shiny. The sun can lighten locks but heat also damages hair. This is avoidable by wearing a cute, well-ventilated and lightweight hat.
Sunglasses are a great way to accessorize but they serve a huge purpose, too. Certain surfaces reflect more UV rays than others and sand is one of them. Photokeratitis, most commonly known as “Snow Blindness,” is caused when the eyes are exposed to large amounts of UV rays in a short amount of time. This causes a sunburn on the cornea and can cause temporary blindness. Protect those peepers with sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV rays, so check the label. If there is no label, this may leave you even more susceptible to damage. The tint of the lenses may cause the pupils to dilate, which allows even more light into your eyes. If your sunglasses are only dark and not UV protected, more UV could actually penetrate your eyes.
Pass me a Fedora, my Ray-Bans, and some Banana Boat, and let the fun in the sun begin! Oh, and don’t forget to check out our SPF (Sun Protection Factor) Resource Guide.