If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, please be kind to your skin. Knysna’s temperature is over 40°C (104°F) today. It’s probably best to stay out of the sun, at least during mid-day, but if it can’t be helped, here are a few tips for keeping your skin safe from the sun’s rays.
- Wear sunscreen every day, in all weather and in every season. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Put your sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. SPF needs at least 20 minutes to absorb before your skin is completely protected from UV rays. Use the amount of cream that would fill a shot glass. Plus, another teaspoon for your face.
- Mist your scalp and hairline with a spray sunscreen to make sure your head is covered. Or wear a hat.
- Coat yourself before you put on your clothes. Working around your clothes will make you more likely to miss a spot.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 80 minutes, or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
- Wear sunglasses with total UV protection. Sunglasses with lenses that have 99% to 100% UV absorption provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats, and if possible, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- If you can, avoid being out in the sun as much as possible from 10 am till 2 pm. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest, and you should find shade.
- Fight the sun from the inside out. Try a supplement such as Sun Pill or Heliocare Dietary Supplement for the Skin. The key ingredient is a tropical fern plant extract called Polypodium leucotomos, that helps guard skin against UV damage and decreases redness after sun exposure.
- Don’t rely on the SPF in your makeup.
- The active ingredients in sunscreens can lose their potency, so check the expiration date. It’s best to buy new each season.
- If you’re a parent, protect your child’s skin and practice those habits together. Keep babies younger than 6 months old completely covered and in the shade.
And always remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.