4 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from Sun Damage

Summer's almost here! From Divine Caroline, here are some tips on preventing sunburn and other sun damage.

By Marnie Moore for Divine Caroline

Everyone enjoys going outside on a nice, warm, sunny day, and enjoying the weather. Summer arrives, and with it comes vacation time, and trips to the pool or the beach. It is very important to know how to protect your skin from the damage and aging that the sun can cause. Here are some easy things you can do to help yourself.

Prevent damage before it happens
Your best tool to help with anti-aging when it comes to the sun is to takes steps to avoid the damaging effects the sun can cause to your skin. The sun’s rays are made up of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. These are also called UVA and UVB rays. This is what causes damage to your skin, and can lead to early wrinkles, skin cancer, and “age spots”.

Wear a hat with a wide brim when you are going to be outside in the sunshine. Your face, ears, and neck are the parts of your body that are most often exposed to sun damage. Wear long clothing that has a tight weave, to prevent the sun from hitting your skin. Choose clothing that is light in color, to help deflect the sun’s rays. Find some shade to stand or rest in, or consider using an umbrella for your own, portable form of shade. In other words, keep the sun off of your skin.

Before you go swimming
If you are going to go swimming, or intend to spend time lying on the beach in the sun, you are going to want to use sunblock, or sunscreen. Apply sunscreen at least thirty minutes before exposing your skin to the sun, so your skin has time to absorb the sunscreen. It does wear off, so remember to reapply your sunscreen every hour, or more frequently if you have been sweating, or in the water. Check to make sure that the sunscreen you are about to use is not expired. Sunscreen helps with anti-aging due to its SPF factor. This stands for “sun protection factor” and you will want to use a sunscreen that has an SPF 15, or higher. Make sure you cover all exposed parts of your skin, for best results.

Check the time
You will want to avoid being exposed to the midday sun. This means either using plenty of sunscreen, or protective clothing if you are going to be outside between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or staying inside during those times. These are the hours when the sun’s damaging UV rays are the strongest.

What about damage that has already been done?
There are products designed to help your skin with anti-aging. Some, like Clinique’s Dark Spot Corrector can help lighten the color of “age spots” in a matter of weeks. Olay has a product line called Regenerest, which uses an amino-peptide complex to improve your skin at the cellular level. It is also a good idea to consult with a dermatologist.