From weird tan lines to salty ocean water and sweat, the joys of summertime can bring a lot of different needs for your skincare routine. But maintaining healthy, glowing summer skin doesn’t mean you have to shy away from having fun in the sun!
Why Is Sun Care Important?
There's a reason that sunscreen makes it on everyone’s skincare essentials list. Refinery 29, Mindbodygreen, Body + Soul and countless others recognize the crucial role that sunscreen plays in maintaining your skin’s optimal health and elasticity for years to come.
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays without protection can result in painful sunburns and cause long-term damage to your skin. UV rays break down collagen structures beneath the skin, resulting in more sagging and wrinkling when we are older. We’ve got no problem with a sophisticated set of wrinkles, but the sun’s effects can be more than just aesthetic.
UV rays from the sun break down our skin’s natural barrier, resulting in skin that is more prone to dryness and takes longer to heal. Constant exposure without proper protection can also lead to skin cancer, which is why the FDA recommends applying sunscreen every two hours when spending time outdoors.
But wearing sunscreen isn’t the only way to ensure your skin is well taken care of all summer long. Read up on for our top tips for protecting and nourishing your skin before, during, and after sun exposure!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Our bodies are composed of over 50% water, so it’s incredibly important to keep hydrated. Drinking about eight glasses of water per day is ideal for maintaining your health, but our bodies lose more water on hot, active, summer days. Be sure to keep hydrated in order to replenish water lost through sweat and to provide your skin the moisture it needs in order to function properly.
Avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day: The sun is strongest between 12pm and 4pm, so be sure to seek shade and protect your skin if you are out during these times.
Wear protective clothing: Rather than relying on sunscreen alone, choose long, light layers that cover your skin but still allow it to breathe. Linen shirts and pants, straw hats, and big sunglasses are great for sun protection - plus, they give you that easy, breezy summer look!
Wear sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply: It’s best to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside, allowing it to sink in and properly protect your skin. Be sure to apply sunscreen all over your body, paying close attention to spots that burn easily like the tip of your nose or the tops of your ears. The FDA recommends that you reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or sweating heavily, no matter how high the SPF.
Cleanse and moisturize directly after sun exposure: To avoid acne and irritation caused by a buildup of salt, oils, and dirt, be sure to gently cleanse your skin after a sweaty day of outdoor activities. Then, treat yourself to a full-body rubdown with ultra-hydrating ingredients. Rich plant oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter are great options for replenishing your skin’s natural barrier and supporting it’s natural healing and regenerating process.
Eat beneficial foods to boost skin from within:
What you eat has a huge role to play in the health of your skin. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids support the skin’s natural barrier while antioxidants and vitamins encourage healing and prevent inflammation. Lycopene (found most commonly in tomatoes) is one specific antioxidant that is even suspected to help protect your skin from sun damage
. Another great dietary supplement to support the overall health and elasticity of your skin is collagen, one of the ingredients in our HOLISTIK beauty STIK
How To Recover From A Sun Burn
Even if you follow all of the proper steps to protect your skin from the sun, sunburns do happen from time to time. If you come home looking like a lobster or with skin that feels prickly and hot, don’t worry! You can still repair your skin and reverse the damage after a bad burn.
Immediately cool down the sunburn:
Apply plant-based ingredients that support your skin’s natural healing process. Spritz a cooling and anti-inflammatory mist like Shea Brand’s Cucumber Hydrosol
or a homemade infusion of lavender essential oil and water to immediately calm your skin. A towel soaked in cold lemon water is another good option for this.
Keep your sunburn moisturized:
Apply pure aloe vera
gel or a lightweight moisturizer. An oil like Everyday Oil’s
blend of rich plant fats and anti-inflammatory essential oils will go a long way in keeping your skin protected from further irritation and encouraging it to heal quickly.
Whether you are looking forward to long sunny days spent lounging by the pool or backpacking in the mountains, it’s crucial to keep your skin protected and cared for throughout all of your summertime activities.
This post was written by Faye Lessler, a California-based freelance writer working towards environmental justice. She writes best while sipping black tea in a beam of sunshine.