Factor in these skin protection tips to protect your complexion from harmful UV rays this summer, says Christine Karan.
After a winter with a few weekends of lovely rain and cool winds, the summer sun is finally out shining high and bright.
While lovers of the great outdoors can’t wait to head out it is important to ensure that your skin is sufficiently protected. Many of us may think we have taken all the right precautions, but several studies show that some of us are just kidding ourselves and need to do more. After a long day at the beach, when you feel that you’ve got that perfect tan, think again.
“The body produces more colour to shield our genetic material to prevent ultraviolet light absorption, and a tan is a sign you’ve been exposed to harmful rays,” says the US-based doctor Daniela Kroshinsky, director of dermatology of Massachusetts General Hospital.
Many experts say sunscreen is a very important tool during summer but applying it just before heading out is not going to help. And make-up products that have a certain level of SPF are not going to be effective barriers to sun rays, either.
If you know you will be out in the sun for the entire day, ensure you apply a sizeable amount of sunscreen about 15 to 20 minutes before heading out.
Give the cream time to start working its magic. Then reapply every 15-30 minutes. But if you are going to be indoors with occasional outdoor visits, it is important you reapply every two hours.
Clothing also plays a very important role in protecting you from sunburn and exposure to the sun’s harmful rays.
We have always assumed that wearing white cotton is the best attire for the summer heat. But wearing cotton all day long while outside is not going to help protect your skin, some experts say.
Cotton retains moisture and loses its insulating properties when you sweat. Consequently, your clothing becomes soggy and sticks to your body. As a result this makes you feel cold and sticky. On humid days, it’s even worse. Instead, experts suggest materials such as nylon or a nylon- polyester mix are a better option.
Caps or hats will help protect your head from sun rays but will still leave your face and eyes exposed. In such conditions, sunglasses can be your saviour but do ensure that their lenses come with UV protection. If you are wearing cheaper lenses without a UV coating, your pupils will dilate as you squint in the sunlight. It’s better to get UV lenses or refrain from wearing sunglasses altogether.
Cooling down and nourishing your skin is as important as applying sun screen. Applying simple concoctions from natural fruits and vegetables on your skin will not only cool your skin but will also remove any suntan, refresh your skin and lower your body temperature.
Here are a couple of home recipes you can create straight from the fridge.
1. Mix a tablespoon of:
- Cucumber extract
- Lemon juice
- Rose water
Dab this cool concoction on your skin and remove any tan.
2. Mash up:
- Half a cup of papaya
- A tablespoon of honey
Slather these on your skin, let them sit for about 30 minutes and wash them off with cool water.
This mix not only removes your tan but the nutrients in the papaya will give your skin a warm, healthy-looking glow.
Last of all; always keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water.
So head out, have fun and keep your skin healthy.