3 (Simple) Ways to Protect Your Skin This Summer

| by Michelle Pezzato, under Skincare and Beauty
Regular skincare protection is an important part of our body's health and this is particularly true during the summer season. Scorching sun rays can wreak havoc on unprotected skin causing potential skin cancers, premature aging and nasty sunburns.
It is a fact that 90% of all skin cancers are caused by too much sun exposure. UV (ultraviolet) rays can actually pass through the layers of our skin where they can damage or even kill skin cells.
Our skin uses sunlight to help our bodies process Vitamin D (which we get from the sun’s rays) but like anything else, sun exposure when you’re outdoors must be well-moderated.
In Michigan, we spend a lot of time indoors during the cold months, so when summer finally gets here, we’re more than ready to be outside, walking, working in the yard, and barbecuing with friends, soaking up as much sunshine as we can.
But with so much time outside, we need to make sure that we’re taking care of our skin so here are 3 simple ways to protect your skin as you’re enjoying the outdoors this summer.

Always Use Sunscreen or Sunblock

The first and most obvious way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays is to always apply sunscreen or sunblock before you expose your skin to the sun.
What's the difference between sunscreen and sunblock? Sunblock is designed to protect your skin by blocking the sun's UV rays while sunscreen "absorbs" the UV rays.
The protection level of a sunscreens or a sunblock is indicated by its SFP (Sun Protection Factor). Without getting too technical, the higher the SPF, the longer one can be in the sun before burning.
So should you use sunblock or sunscreen? And which SPF should you use? That's a question for your dermatologist, but generally speaking, the more sensitive your skin is to sunlight, the higher SPF you should use. And sunblock is probably going to offer more proctection than sunscreen. But again, each person is different so the best way to know what type of protective lotion you should use is to consult your dermatologist.
Woman sunbathing with skin protection
Do be aware that the use of sunscreen/sunblock is essential for everyone, whether you’re naturally pale or have dark skin.
African American skin is just as susceptible to the sun’s rays as lighter skin and proper care should be taken to prevent skin damage. It is an urban myth that more skin melanin will provide a greater protection from the sun. Sometimes, signs of sun damage might not be as obvious on darker skin, but keep in mind that skin can still feel hot to the touch, tight, and painful.

Get Frequent Facials to Help Repair Skin Damage

Facials are not only a great way to relax, but they also help to improve skin elasticity, fight pigmentation from harmful UV rays and block against free radicals that breakdown our delicate facial skin.
Woman getting facial to restore skin
Cooling aloe masks and facial serums can help renew sun damaged skin and bring a glow back to otherwise dull skin. Our minkyti, hydrafacial and illuminating facial are perfect for brightening skin for the perfect summer glow. LED add on treatments can be added as an upgrade as well; these light beam facials are pain-free and can help to ignite collagen production in the skin making it feel more supple and better hydrated. It is essentially like giving your face a cool drink of water it deserves after prolonged sun exposure.

Wear Sun Protective Clothing

No sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays and this is why it’s important for photosensitive individuals or those with a history of skin cancer to cover up using SPF protective clothing such as shirts, hats and umbrellas. Generally, the sun is usually the strongest between 10am and 2 pm, so if you are going to be out during those times, it’s better to have the extra protection your skin needs.
Seek shade where you can if possible and keep in mind that not all clothing is created equal in offering protection from the sun. Of course, a tightly woven cotton shirt is better than no protection at all from clothing, but try and look for shirts, hats and bathing suits that have an ultraviolet protection factor (“UPF”) that range anywhere from 15 to 50+.
Young woman with hat protecting facial skin
Wide-brimmed sun hats offer a lot more protection than baseball hats which only protect your face.
UPF for clothing is based upon factors such as thread count per inch and fiber structure, the more holes the fabric has, the less protection you get from the sun. You can also try a product called SunGuard that you throw into the wash and that gives regular clothing some UV protective ability. Combined with sunscreen, UPF clothing is yet another barrier in your skin protection arsenal against the suns rays.

Summer Safely!

Welcome to summer.
It’s time to put the top down, get the garden tools out, fill the cooler with ice and head to the lake, and do a million other things you can’t do in Michigan in January (or February, or March…).
Whatever it is you’ll be doing outside, don’t forget the sunscreen, big hats and protective clothing.
And of course, don’t forget to schedule your next facial to keep your face looking healthy and feeling good.
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