It’s consensus that basking in the sun is one of the best parts of going on that long awaited beach vacation. Just sunny skies, salty air and relaxation.
But the risks that come with sunbathing for too long or tanning are not quite as relaxing. If you’re looking at spending some time in the sun or tanning safely when spending time outside with your family, follow some simple steps to make sure you minimise the sun's impact on your skin.
SUNSCREEN IS NON NEGOTIABLE
Needles to say, when spending time in direct sunlight you must SPF 30 or higher. And don’t forget to reapply every two hours. There’s a belief that using low-SPF sunscreen will help you get a better glow, but that’s incorrect. It’s a well known fact that too much UV light may do serious damage. UV light penetrates deeply and may cause premature ageing of the skin, eye damage and harm to the DNA of skin cells.
ALL IN DUE TIME
Seasoned beach goers and coastal locals know that you shouldn’t try to tan or sunbathe between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. This is why you will only see them appear on the beach in the afternoon. The sun usually shines brightest during these times, thus increasing the risk of burning and other ailments. Instead, have a long lunch with plenty of hydrating drinks, do some sightseeing or have a well deserved rest during these hours.
Very commonly forgotten areas are the lips, eyes and ears. The soft skin around these areas is even more exposed to UV rays, which is why SPF lip balms and a pair of sunglasses are the unsung heroes of sunbathing. And a drop of sunscreen on your ears.
DON’T JUST APPLY SPF, WEAR IT
Sun protective swimwear is now reality. The new technical swimwear fabrics have SPF 50 protection, which will guarantee you protection of the sensitive skin in some areas of your body. Especially if the swimsuit that you buy is doubled. On top of that you can layer a sarong or cover-up for an added protection on the rest of your body. If you are planning to surf or do any aquatic activities, swimwear cover-ups are an excellent choice for sun protection that a regular tshirt will not be able to offer.
HYDRATION, HYDRATION, HYDRATIONThat should be your mantra if you’re planning to catch a glow or enjoy the beach with your family. Start from within, with drinking plenty of water and other hydrating drinks when in the sun. And don’t forget about sun after-care. Remember to apply moisturizer after your shower, because sun exposure coupled with chlorine or salt water will have a drying effect on you and your loved ones skin. Added benefit: you get to smell all sweet and coconutty for the rest of the evening.
It’s important to know that any sun exposure to your skin that alters the color in any way is causing damage, so the best thing you can do for your skin health is to be diligent with your sunscreen application. The good news is moderate sun exposure also helps the body produce vitamin D, which is good for bones, teeth, skin, hair and nails. Studies have also found that those who had more frequent sun exposure lived longer than those that stayed away from the sun. With that being said, we hope you enjoy your time in the sun and remember to slow down and take in the beautiful moments.