Just two weeks ago, as I sat down to write, I looked out the window to huge snowflakes falling. Since then, the sun found its way out of hibernation, flowers bloomed, and many of us began to spend time outdoors! However, looking at my neighbors today, it appears many of us forgot fresh air and sunshine also leads to fresh sunburns. So, with the seasons finally changing, it may be time to make some changes in how you are taking care of your skin! Here are some tips to help you thaw out and enjoy the outdoors without wreaking havoc on your skin.
1. Your Sunscreen Has An Expiration Date: That “first time out sunburn” isn’t just because it’s been a while since you’ve been in the sun; it also could be because your sunscreen isn’t working as well as it did a few months ago. Believe it or not, sunscreen has an expiration date—usually about one year from the time you first open it. So, last year’s sunscreen won’t be as effective as you’re expecting for this year. In addition, regardless of when you opened it, your sunscreen expires by the date on the bottle. So go ahead and throw out your old stock, and get a new bottle for fun in the sun in 2014!
2. Don’t Forget Your Lips: Your lips take sun damage too, so don’t forget to put SPF on them as well. There are a lot of lip balms with SPF in them, so just find one you like and apply it before heading out. Otherwise, you might end up looking like this.
3. UVB/ UVA SPF Protection: The SPF number on the front of your sunscreen bottle only tells you part of the sunscreen protection story. Believe it or not, SPF number only describes the level of protection from UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburn. You also need protection from UVA rays, which are actually the stronger of the two UV rays. They penetrate all the way down to the dermis, break down collagen and elastin, and cause sunspots and age spots. In other words, UVB rays give you sunburn but UVA rays age your skin—B for burning, A for aging! So, make sure you see “broad spectrum” on the label to ensure you’re protecting yourself from wrinkles and age spots, not just sunburn.
4. Change Your Moisturizer: Did you know that many people can benefit from a change in their skincare routine products the weather changes? During the winter, the humidity levels are usually much lower than the summer months, and things like wind can batter your skin. As a consequence, most people tend to have drier skin during the colder months. However, once it begins to warm up, the same products that were making you feel hydrated during the winter will suddenly become overkill. If you feel like you are suffering from this problem, try a lighter moisturizer—one that feels physically lighter and less viscous to the touch. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel! Also, if your current moisturizer is only SPF 15, consider upping it to SPF 30 because the sun’s rays are more intense during the summer months.
5. Drink More Water: Warmer weather can lead to dehydration fast, so you’ll want to make sure you’re drinking plenty to make up for what your body is losing. The general rule is 1oz of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. So, if you weigh 150lbs, you want to aim for 75oz of water a day. Gatorade, lemonade, Kool-Aid, and flavored water don’t count. The only substitute for water is ice water.
6. Need For Vitamin D is NOT An Excuse To Tan: Yes, you do need vitamin D. No, that’s not permission to “lay out” and get hours of sun damage. Moderation is the key! You only need 10-15 minutes of sun exposure a day to get healthy vitamin D levels.
7. Wear Sunglasses…With UV Protection: Your eyes take a beating from the sun, too. First, if you don’t wear sunglasses, all that squinting can lead to crow’s feet. However, your eyes can suffer from sun damage, too, and believe it or not, you can even get difficult-to-detect and deadly melanomas (a type of skin cancer) on your eyes! So, grab a few pairs you like and keep a pair in your car, your purse, your house, and at work so you’ll always have a pair handy and ready to put on!
Make sure you check in for a very special collaboration post with The WAKE UP Project!
See you next Sunday!