Summer Is Here: Tips for Protecting Your Skin from Cancer-Causing Sunrays
We are kicking back, relaxing and enjoying a family BBQ or two this summer season, while our winter skin gets exposed to the sun for the first time in months. As the temperatures heat up, ensuring your skin is ready for the sun’s intense rays is extremely important. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 9,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every single day. UVA/UVB rays are present and harmful every day of the year, but they can be especially damaging during the summer months because of an increase in time spent outdoors. At the HEADstrong Foundation, we make it our mission to bring awareness to all types of cancer, and that’s why we’re sharing these summer skin care tips to help protect you from cancer-causing sunrays.
No matter the season, it’s important to always practice some kind of skin care routine to protect yourself from the sun. In the summer, it’s recommended to take a lighter approach—as you remove your heavy winter jacket, you’re going to want to remove heavy cleansers and moisturizers from your routine. With that in mind, here are a few other changes you’ll want to incorporate into your summer skin care routine.
Use SPF Daily
Even if it’s cloudy outside, make sure you are using SPF every day and are reapplying every two hours. Sunscreen SPF recommendations from the experts include choosing a broad-spectrum product with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays. It is also recommended to apply at least a teaspoon of sunscreen to the face and about an ounce to the body 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Don’t forget your lips and scalp, two of the most commonly missed places.
Hydrate Inside & Out
Keeping yourself hydrated is a no-brainer during any time of the year, but it is especially beneficial in the summer. As the temperatures heat up and we spend more time outdoors, our internal temperature rises, leading to possible dehydration. Aim for eight 8-ounce cups of water daily to help hydrate from within. Keeping yourself hydrated can also help skin recover more quickly after a particularly bad sunburn. To hydrate externally, try adding an intensive mask one-two times per week or a spritz of a revitalizing toner to keep your skin refreshed.
Exfoliate More Often
While we’re constantly reminded to avoid overly exfoliating, in the summer, adding an exfoliating skin care step to your routine can help remove dull, dead skin cells. Try exfoliating in the morning with an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) pad to clean pores, prevent congestion and improve hydration. Follow up with a hydrating body cream and SPF. Our sunscreen SPF recommendations include a broad-spectrum of SPF 30 or higher.
Stay In the Shade
Limit your exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10AM to 4PM. If you have to be outside, wear clothing that protects you from the sun, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with 99-100% UV absorption.
Repair & Treat Sun-Damaged Skin
A tan may look good in the summer, but it indicates damaged skin. One bad, blistering sunburn can double your risk of melanoma. If you’re looking to soothe the burn and help undo some damage, try applying cooling balms and aloe to help reduce redness and inflammation and prevent peeling.
In addition to preventative measures, it’s important to get an annual skin exam by a dermatologist or your doctor. They can check and detect any signs of unusual skin changes or new growths that could be early warning signs of melanoma. To learn more about what we do at the HEADstrong Foundation or to directly donate to our cause, visit our website.