Kim Peaks from Florida learned just how unforgiving the sun could be during a summer trip to a beach house. "I sunbathed from morning to sundown — without sunscreen. I got burned so badly that you could see how red my skin was right through a white golf shirt. Blisters developed on my chest and I had to apply antibacterial ointment and gauze because I was afraid of getting an infection." Needless to say this was a onetime occurrence.
It doesn't matter whether you're 6 or 60 — overexposure does you harm. "When you're young, you can never imagine getting older," say dermatologist say you get a lot of sun damage before you're 18 and it's very expensive to undo it."
Wrinkles, sun spots and premature aging are just some of the skin problems you can develop. Most dangerous of all though is skin cancer, which can occur after only one serious sunburn. And while it is the most preventable of cancers, the Dermatology Association estimates of the 78,000 new cases of all types of non-melanoma skin cancer expected this year, more than 60 or 80 per cent will be basal cell skin cancer, making this the most common form of skin cancer. While the damage can usually be cured if caught early, if undiagnosed it can spread and be fatal.
This summer be safe in the sun by following these four tips for looking after your skin:
1. Wear sunscreen
"The single most important thing you can do is use a sunscreen, "You get UV light all year round." To be protected, choose a product with an SPF of at least 25 that combats both UVA and UVB rays, put it on at least 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every one to two hours. If you are in the pool or at the lake, using a waterproof or water-resistant product is fine, but you must still reapply after toweling off.
2. Avoid the sun
To minimize overexposure to the sun, Health Canada recommends staying out of the sun at peak times, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the summer months. If you have to be outside, sit in the shade and away from reflective surfaces such as water and sand. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and tightly woven clothes, which are harder for the sun to penetrate, as well as good sunglasses with proper UV protection. Also keep in mind that some medications, such as Accutane and tetracycline, make you even more sensitive to the sun.
3. Use a self-tanner
If you want a sun-kissed look, grab a bottle of self-tanner. I believe in these because they are not bad for your skin but can still give you that sun glow.. For best coverage and to reduce streaking, exfoliate the skin from head to toe and remove all unwanted body hair about 24 to 48 hours before application. Because self-tanners remain on the skin's surface, avoid taking a shower or going into the pool for at least three hours after applying and do not dress for at least a half hour. Moisturizer can help stop the color from flaking off and looking patchy.
4. Exfoliate and hydrate your skin
When you exfoliate, you're removing dry or dead skin cells and helping skin products — be they self-tanners or sunscreens — work better. To keep skin hydrated, use an oil-free lotion (creams are better for winter months), which will lock in moisture and won't leave you feeling greasy.