Ask Peter: Summer Vacation Sun Protection

Summer Sun Protection

Summer is nearly here, and I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to get some of that precious vitamin D from its most famous source – the sun. Still, whenever I leave my house during those hot days, I remember how my Nana always warned me about my skin ending up the same color as the crab’s shell, if I do not protect it properly. Nana was right, of course. No matter how we love the sun, and how we feel the feeling is mutual, the sun is prone to hurting us. If the love affair is not short term, we may end up looking 10 years older than we are. Truly, the sun is the main cause of age spots and wrinkles, and it can increase the risk of developing cancer. Ouch. Sounds like a reason to lock ourselves in our rooms this summer. Or is it?

It is quite simple – some sun is good for you, too much sun is bad for you. The easiest way to spend time outside during the summer is to limit that time. A couple of hours a day is quite enough to enjoy and get the desired sun-kissed tan. Those couple of hours definitely should not be during the sun’s peak and the highest temperature of the day, but in the mornings and the afternoons. When you feel like it is too much and you do not want to go home just yet, listen to Rihanna’s advice and seek shelter under an (sun) umbrella. Use that time to reapply the sunscreen.

Speaking of… You should not use just any sunscreen but choose the right one for you. With all the changes on this market, it is not easy to decide that, though. An important thing to know is that the sun protection factor (SPF) is not the only thing you should consider, since it blocks the UVB rays which cause sunburns, and leaves alone UVA rays, which increase the risk of developing cancer. What you can do is to choose a broad-spectrum protection for both UV rays. Depending on your skin’s sensitivity, the chosen product should have between 15 and 50 SPF and contain UVA blocking ingredients, like zinc oxide, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, etc. For me, the best choice is Dermalogica Sun Protection, because it is water-resistant and it moisturizes the skin. Do not wait for when you get to the beach to apply your sunscreen. Instead, do that 15 minutes prior leaving the house to give it time to absorb. Reapply it every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

Summer Sun Protection

My favorite way to spare my skin the sun damage is to eat my way to protection. While these foods and drinks are not at all replacements for sunblock, they can be really helpful. Some of my favorite protective treats are citrus fruit, carrots, red peppers, spinach, salmon, walnuts, green tea, and, of course, plenty of water. So, before heading to the beach, make yourself a nice fruit salad and enjoy.

What you ladies need to remember is that beach accessories are far more than a stylish statement (do not kill the messenger), they can also be very helpful in protecting your skin and health from harmful effects of the sun. So instead of thinking about whether your floppy hat goes well with your monokini, you should think about whether your monokini matches your floppy hat. 99 or 100% UVA and UVB protection will protect your eyes, which can be troubled by the sun rays, especially if you have light eyes.

In the end, if you get a bit carried away by the joys of summer, and you end up like a crab’s shell we have mentioned above, you can always buy soothing creams to heal your skin, or use all natural remedies for that (yogurt, potato paste, cool milk compress, mint, apple cider vinegar, and so on.

There is no way you should stay in your room for the entire summer. Go outside, the sun will not hurt you if you wear a good suit of armor and you are playing by its rules.

~ Peter Minkoff, Associate Editor

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