Our motto for summer? Nope, it’s not YOLO. Though decidedly less sexy and far from meme-worthy, this summer we’re going with this one: play it safe. We know, we know. Summer is for spontaneity. Skinny dipping! Summer flings! Feeling invincible after indulging in one too many piña coladas! We are ALL FOR those things and more. But the one thing we are absolutely NOT down for? Sun damage..and we aren’t just talking sunburns.
Yes, sunburns are annoying—they’re painful, unsightly and cause skin to peel. But when it comes to sun damage, there’s so much more happening than what we can see on the surface. Excessive UV radiation from the sun’s rays come with serious risk. Think wrinkles, age spots, a loss in skin elasticity and an increased risk for developing skin cancer.
By now you’ve likely heard the fun fact that skin is your body’s largest organ. But more importantly, your skin is your body’s first line of defense when it comes to staying healthy. It protects us from disease-causing bacteria, regulates body temp, and gives us *all the feels* (seriously, your skin is what helps you to sense pain, pressure and heat). Considering all that your skin does for you, don’t you think you should be returning the favor? We think so.
Here are our tips for practicing safe sun:
Obviously. When spending any amount of time in the sun, sunscreen should be a non-negotiable. But finding your favorite can be a beast of a decision. There are chemical ones (that absorb UV light) and physical ones (that reflect UV light away) and on top of that, so many different formulations—lotions, sprays, powders, and sticks, just to name a few. However, the most important things to note are SPF and whether it contains UVA blocking ingredients. SPF 30 is what the industry agrees is the minimum for most people, and a shot glass-sized amount is recommended to cover the entire body (not including your face).
Go Easy On The Eyes
Sure, we wear shades because they look cool; but they’re also completely necessary whenever you’re in the sun. Sun damage to eyes can manifest in the form of cataracts, worsened vision, yellow patches in the whites of your eyes, and even sunburn to your corneas—ouch! Make sure the sunnies you’re sporting block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
Hat Hair, Don’t Care
While your hair doesn’t necessarily need sunscreen (though it does tend to dry out while in the sun), your scalp most definitely does. Sunscreen on your hairline, though? Not a good look. Instead, reach for a hat with at least a three-inch brim all the way around. It’ll keep your scalp safe from sunburn, and will also protect your face, ears, neck and lips, which are some of the areas most prone to developing skin cancer.
Just Eat It
In terms of practicing safe sun, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, too. Eating the right foods and taking your vitamins can pay off huge in the long run. A daily vitamin D supplement can have a protective effect against sunburn, as can consuming foods rich in antioxidants (think superfoods like blueberries and spinach). And while we’re obviously huge fans of coconut oil on the outside, adding some to your smoothie each day makes for the perfect addition of good, saturated fats which help to keep skin healthy.
You know those people who say they need to get burned before they get bronzed? DON’T LISTEN TO THOSE PEOPLE. Building up to sun kissed skin should be done in baby steps. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but 15-20 minutes of direct sunlight per day (especially on a cloudless summer day) is plenty. Repeat over a period of a few days and you’ll be rewarded with a healthy glow. Can’t wait? You can always spritz a bit of our Coconut Body Glow to get that beach chic sheen in seconds.