Finally! The overbearing winter months are in retreat, allowing the summer sun to wrap us in its warmth and comfort. With not one, but multiple, polar vortices freezing us this past winter, it’s safe to say that people everywhere are going to flee from hibernation to the outdoors to welcome the satisfying rise in temperature. But with this increased exposure to the sun and its powerful UV rays comes an even greater responsibility to protect yourself from the violent damage these rays are capable of causing; whether it be trivial sun spots and wrinkles, or the more serious skin cancer and melanoma.
There are two effective routes to take when protecting yourself from the effects of this damage:
Externally – What you wear on your skin is the most obvious line of defense against the sun. It can prevent UV rays from attacking your bear skin and initiating sunburn, wrinkles, and aggravating moles and sun spots.
- Light colored clothing – A lot of people don’t realize that something as simple as a white cotton t-shirt can provide as much protection against the sun as an SPF 7 sunscreen. Large-brimmed sun hats and sunglasses are effective in protecting the delicate areas around the face, ears, and eyes from the sun.
- Sunscreen – The Melanoma Foundation recommends a minimum SPF 15 for the face and body when spending time outside. Sunscreen should be reapplied hourly, depending on individual sunscreen labels. The higher sunscreen used the more protection it can offer against UV rays.
- After-sun skin cream – This is a reactive approach to the superficial facial damage caused by repeated sun exposure. There are infinite creams to choose from that can help reduce the appearance and even the recurrence of unsightly wrinkles and sun spots.
Internally – The less obvious move towards preventing the damaging effects of the sun is what you put into your body. What you eat and drink and how active your lifestyle is help to contribute to the protection and resistance to wrinkles, premature ageing, and even skin cancer.
- Food – Diets rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains work wonders on preserving your body’s youth and preventing the early onset of ageing. These foods also, and more importantly, help to significantly reduce the risk of cell mutation and cancer development within the body (skin included).
- Drink – Green tea and red wine (when consumed in moderation) are notorious beverages touting ‘fountain of youth’ properties. They, too, protect the body against cancer and untimely skin damage.