While getting your dose of vitamin D is important for numerous reasons, including bone strength, fending off weight gain and a number of other more severe conditions and diseases, protecting your skin against the harmful influences of UVA and UVB rays is even more important. According to experts from Skincancer.org, excessive and unprotected exposure to these rays, UV in particular, can lead to skin cancer as these rays have the power to penetrate and damage the skin’s DNA. Other, slightly less scary consequences of sun exposure, especially UVA rays, are wrinkly and leathery as well as dry skin that ages faster, and after decades of research it has been concluded that – ‘UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur’.
Needless to say, protecting your skin all year round is an absolute necessity, and it becomes higher on the list of priorities during summertime. Short sleeves, shorts, sundresses and bathing suits inevitably allow us to show and expose more skin to the sun, and as much as some of us love a good sun-kissed tan, protection must always come first. Tans will come and go, but you only have one skin and one body to live in, so treat it well and make sure every inch of your skin’s surface is protected at all times.
This brings us to the most effective types of sun protection that should be ‘glued’ to your beach bag at all times. And even if you’re not having fun in the sun, slather it generously on every time you leave the house in your stylish summer outfit.
Read The Labels
Before you just go and pick any old sunscreen from the shelf, do your homework and find out what a truly good and effective sunblock should contain. According to medical professionals, choosing something that simply contains a high SPF is no longer enough. For your skin to be safe and sound, the first words you want to look for when checking out a product is ‘broad-spectrum’. Yes, only broad-spectrum sunscreen has the ability to ‘fend off’ both UVA and UVB rays. Products such as these tend to contain benzophenones, cinnamates, sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone and ecamsule, so make sure you look for these ingredients on the back of the bottle.
In addition to that, don’t go for anything less than SPF 30, particularly during the summer, and don’t be afraid of going even higher if you’re generally pale-skinned and a person with a cool undertone that burns easily. One of the best examples of such sunscreens is the Anthelios Ultra Light SPF 60 Sunscreen by La Roche-Posay, which isn’t only a broad-spectrum product, but also contains an incredibly high SPF, most suitable for those who have sensitive skin that burns easily. Yes, Greek yogurt will provide you with some relief in case you do burn, but why wait for the damage to be done when you can nip the possibility in the bud?
The problem with most sunscreens is that, aside from the beneficial and protective ingredients, they often come with a set of built-in chemicals that can be harmful for the skin. This is why we choose our skincare products wisely, and this is why we should do the same with this particular product. Given the amount of potentially harmful chemicals, and the amazing strides that organic and natural skincare brands have made, sometimes it’s best to rely on a great and trusty organic sunscreen.
Among many great ones, the tried and tested Wotnot brand has ranked pretty high. Not only do they produce incredible sun protection products which are both effective and contain the much needed zinc oxide, but due to their organic nature, they’re also suitable for all skin types. In addition to that, the fact that their offer contains products such as facial sunblock – the Anti-Aging Sunscreen and Primer – as well as sunblock suitable for babies and children, is amazing. You can protect your body, your face and your kids and do so with organic and natural ingredients. With them, what you see is what you get, as these products are devoid of chemical UV absorbers, PEGS, parabens as well as artificial fragrance.
Other Protective Goodies
Aside from finding the right sunscreen that will be your beach tote’s faithful companion at the beach, it’s also paramount to pamper your skin after the fun in the sun is over. This is why cosmetics companies have come up with a huge range of post-sun products that will nourish and help replenish your skin with extra moisture. Neal’s Yard Remedies Chamomile & Aloe Vera After Sun Lotion fits the description perfectly, as it provides a luxurious post-sun pampering experience that restores moisture. It’s also an organic product, so another incentive to go for it. It smells incredible and will soothe your skin like nothing else. You can even use it as a daily after-shower lotion, even when you’re not exposed to the sun.
Final pearls of wisdom
When you’re not in the water or sunbathing, make sure you have protective clothing on. Kaftans, kimonos, swimsuits and wide summer dresses aren’t only stylish but here to serve and protect you as well, so when you head out to a quick lunch or a cocktail at the beach bar, throw one on. Make sure the fabric is dense, and go for something like viscose and silk as these two fabrics somehow become even more protective when they get wet. Polyester also does wonders, and finally, don’t forget to protect your scalp with a stylish hat, and always pack sunglasses with protective lenses.
Skin isn’t the only thing that needs rescuing.
Have a great and safe summer.
Sophia Smith is Australian based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is very passionate about organic beauty products, yoga and healthy lifestyle. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and lifestyle related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life and Ripped.
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Sophia is one of our experts – you can find out more about her and ask her anything beauty related by heading over to her expert profile page here.