How to Protect Your Skin in the Summer

The skin is the largest bodily organ. On an average adult human it is about 2.5 square meters, roughly 3 mm thick, and in one square inch of skin lie 600 sweat glands, thousands of nerve endings, and 20 blood vessels. The skin serves as the number one defense mechanism against germs and bacteria. But when it comes to the outdoors and the sun, your skin can definitely be in danger. UV rays are extremely harmful to the skin and can cause temporary and permanent damage. Although DNA can help reverse the effects of UV exposure, it can not get rid of it all so we must protect ourselves before it is too late. Here are some quick tips and ideas of how to make your summer months safe and healthy for your skin:

Sheek shade- Shade is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself temporarily outside. Whether you’re having a picnic, party, or at a sporting event, seek shade. You can easily sit under a tree, set up a canopy, or bring a beach umbrella. Not only does this protect your skin, but also keep you much cooler as opposed to being out in the sun.

Wear the right clothing-
When we think of summer, we think of wearing tank tops, shorts, swimsuits, and sandals. Believe it or not, these are the wrong attire for protecting your skin. “Summer” clothing exposes skin to harmful rays. The most ideal clothing for summer protection are long sleeved shirts and pants with a tightly wooven fabric. And fear not! Shopping at sports clothing stores will help you find protective clothing that is breathable and cool. Hats are also extremely ideal if they have a 4 inch brim. This helps cover your face, ears, and neck from exposure.

Always apply sunblock- Sunblock is great protection against sunburns and UV exposure, when applied early and often. Unfortunately sunblock with an SPF of under 15 is deemed useless, and should not be used on children. When choosing a sunblock, it is ideal for it to have an SPF of over 60, but make sure it is applied often.

Important tip: Sunblock should not be applied to children less than a year in age. Keep them covered or in the shade.

Avoid tanning beds- Tanning beds can actually be more harmful to your skin than the sun. It is best to avoid tanning beds all together. If you desire a beautiful bronze tan, consider better options such as spray-on, airbrushing, or paint on tanning, all of which are available at local spas. Remember, healthy skin is beautiful skin.

Be aware of the time- The worst time to be outside in the sun is between 10am and 4pm. This is because the sun is the brightest and the harshest. If planning a party, the ideal time would be in the evening. If you are planning to have an outside event, make sure shade and sunblock is available to everyone.

Examine yourself- One way to keep yourself healthy is by examining yourself regularly. If moles, freckles, or birthmarks seem larger, or differently shaped, it can be a warning sign of sun damage. It is suggested that if you are outside regularly, have fair skin, and or have a skin condition, that you see a doctor or dermatologist often. Doctors will be able to keep a chart of skin marks and monitor growth or change of them.

With these simple, summer tips and facts you can make your summer outdoors healthier and safer for yourself, your friends, and your family.

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