Tragically, and ironically, acquiring that “healthy-looking” tan is one of the unhealthiest things we can do to our skin. Any dermatologist worth their weight in retinoids will tell you that repeated exposure to UV-radiation causes those premature signs of aging - like wrinkles, sagging, brown spots, and uneven tone - and of course, deadly skin cancers like melanoma. In short, the summer tan is a short-term folly with serious, long-term consequences.
Discipline | That’s what it takes to ward off the sun’s exposure and resist the temptation to tan. It’s a daily, year-round commitment because you’re exposed even when you’re not outside; harmful UV rays come through windows in your office, home, or car.
Offense is the Best Defense | You can thwart the sun’s damage by committing to daily sunscreen. According to cancer.net, we should be using sunscreen even when it’s cloudy outside. Apply product 30 minutes prior to heading out, with an SPF of at least 30, to protect against UVA and UVB radiation. And when possible, avoid the sun at its strongest hours, between 10am and 4pm. If you have sensitive skin or just want to avoid chemicals, Prevention.com recommends these natural sunscreens to help you navigate around products that contain oils, fragrances, or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) .
Shady Character | Today’s tech fabrics mean that you can cover up without sweltering. The big outdoor brands all sell great sun-protective options, including Patagionia, Columbia, O’Neill, L.L. Bean and Lands End and smaller brands like Lilly Pulitzer, Athleta and Coolibar offer up sun protection with a little more flair. And while we all want to wear white in the summer, in terms of sun protection, darker is actually better, as is a tightly woven fabric over a loose one. It’s not enough to just cover up; if you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
Rock Your Inner Starlet | A wide-brim hat will protect your face, neck and ears and sunglasses with max UV absorption will make you look mysterious. Oh, and protect your eyes.
Gentle Touch | According to the Mayo Clinic, summer is a time to be gentle with your routine - daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll, especially when it’s under the stress of sun exposure. Our daily gentle cleanser and lightweight gel cream, moisturizers and serums are packed with high concentrations of skin-correcting vitamins and antioxidants which help to repair daily damage and replenish and rejuvenate dull, stressed skin.
From the Inside Out | Eating a breakfast or lunch rich in healthy fats and antioxidants will help protect your skin by engaging your own cells to fight off the day’s stress from inevitable sun exposure. Eating a rainbow of produce and Omega-3 fatty acids early in the day will help your skin form its own defense. Some delicious options include blueberries (vitamin C), watermelon (lycopene), nuts and seeds (omega-3 fatty acids), carrots and leafy greens (beta carotene) and green tea.