We’re at the peak of summer right now. I think it’s important to really keep in mind that the sun can cause serious damage. Yes, it’s fun to go outside and go the beach, but you don’t want to pay for it later down the road. (Too many of my friends have had skin cancer or skin cancer scares, including my mom.)
Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Any tan is damage to your skin. (For more information about staying healthy this summer, I recommend doing some research with reputable organizations
.) Anddddd, this would be a very good time to check in with your dermatologist if it’s been a while! I always find it awkward to do the body checks, but walk out of the office feeling so relieved knowing things look okay!
Here are my tips for staying safe in the sun:
1. Don’t listen to what other people say about your skin.
I repeat, do not listen to what other people have to say about your skin. My family is very, very tan and I’m the odd girl out with the whitest skin. I’m basically translucent. I think I had gotten kind of tan throughout my high school years of being a coxswain and practicing outside 20 hours a week. When I came back from college and switched into a pair of shorts, my dad’s first remarks were “you’re so pale you look sick!” At some point, our society has deemed tan skin healthy (“healthy glow” anyone?), when in reality the skin you have
is your healthy skin whether you’ve got gorgeous ebony skin or porcelain pale skin. Even people who “don’t burn” need to use sunscreen.
At times, I let myself believe that my pale skin is ugly and needs to be remedied, but it’s just who I am. I’m doing my best to embrace it this summer, especially with shorts/dresses/bathing suits.
(The only time to listen to someone about your skin is if they notice a weird mole. Have a friend, mom, or significant other check your back and the backs of your legs!)
2. Use a moisturizer with SPF every day.
I think it’s easy to remember to put on sunscreen when you’re going to the beach, but don’t forget to put it on every day. Use a moisturizer that has SPF for your face and body. Don’t forget your ears, your scalp, the tops of your feet…. and your neck. (You’ll thank yourself later in life when your hands and neck don’t tell your age!)
I use this every day before my makeup, and it’s small enough to tuck into my purse for reapplication if I find myself outside again. I also like Clinique’s City Block, and I’d like to try Supergoop’s products.
3. Avoid the sun during “peak” hoursI find this hard to abide by, especially in the summer when I’m tempted to be outside as much as possible. If you can, though, try to avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest: 10 am to 2 pm. If you’re an outdoors workout kind of girl, try a morning jog or a sunset swim.
4. Apply sunscreen naked
This sounds a little risqué, but I swear by it. Apply your sunscreen completely in the nude. I used to put it on while wearing my bathing suit but I always ended up missing a spot… or my bathing suit would shift, and I’d get burned in weird patches. Applying naked means you get every inch of skin covered, regardless of whether or not your suit covers it.
I start with my face and methodically work my way down my body, so I don’t miss anything. It takes a whilllllle but it’s so worth it.
6. Don’t be fooled
This is the biggest trick in the book. Don’t let a cloudy, overcast day fool you…. you can still get burned!!!!
Any other sun tips?!