Tired of all the rain we’ve had lately? Here in Central Florida, the stormy late afternoons typically signal that summer is fast approaching.
As you get ready to enjoy endless sunny days, don’t forget to protect your skin. Good skin care habits are really important in the summer because we spend more time outside during this time of year. More sun exposure combined with the increased intensity of the sun’s rays could lead to sun damage, including sunburn, discoloration and skin cancer in more severe cases.
Before you head outside to enjoy time with family and friends, here are several things you should do to protect your skin and keep it healthy.
Whether you’re 13 or 73, you should wear sunscreen whenever you go outside. Apply a sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or higher and a sun block that’s at least SPF 30 if you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors. Sunblock reflects the sun’s rays, which block them from penetrating your skin. Sunscreen prevents most of the sun’s rays from reaching your skin, but lets some in. Both are good forms of sun protection, but you’ll need to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours if you sweat a lot or spend most of the day outside.
Sunscreen and sunblock aren’t just for sunny days. The sun’s rays are always there, even when it’s cloudy. Up to 80 percent of UV rays penetrate through clouds, so wear sunscreen even when you think it’s not necessary.
Wear a Hat and Sunglasses
Sun protection doesn’t stop with sunscreen. A good hat, sunglasses and clothing protect your skin from the sun, too.
The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you go outside during this time, wear protective clothing to prevent sunburn. You don’t have wear heavy sweater or jeans. Light, summer-friendly clothing that covers your arm and legs is a good way to reduce your sun exposure. If you’d rather wear shorts and a short-sleeve shirt, find a shady area or porch where you can sit when it’s really hot outside.
Moisturize and Hydrate
Drinking a lot of water keeps you hydrated, especially during the summer months when you may sweat more than usual, which can lead to dehydration, dizziness and headaches. Water is really good for your skin, as well. Drink eight ounces of water a day to give your skin the moisture it needs. Also wear a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher to prevent dryness and sun damage.
Check the Labels on Your Medication
This tip is really important for seniors. Some over-the-counter medications make your skin more sensitive to light, which makes you more prone to sunburn, swelling and other skin damage.
As I mentioned before, dehydration is more likely during the summer. If you take water pills for high blood pressure, there’s even more of a risk of dehydration. Talk to your doctor or caregiver to get more information if you’re concerned about your medication.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy outings and vacations with family and friends, but take the proper precautions before you go outdoors. All you need is some sunscreen, sunglasses and the right clothing to enjoy this great weather and stay safe in the sun.