Do you regularly work outdoors for prolonged periods of time? Sunny days are fun and relaxing, but excessive sunlight on your skin can cause early signs of aging. If you’re not careful, the skin across your hands, face and body can become rough, dull, and dehydrated after long exposure to strong UV rays, heat, saltwater and chlorine. A worst case scenario is that excessive time in the sun can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.
7 Steps To Protect Against Sunlight On Your Skin
1. Apply Sunscreen Every Day (Even When Cloudy)
The easiest way to prevent skin cancer and slow down the signs of aging? Sunscreen. According to the CDC, most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, an invisible kind of radiation from the sun. UV rays can reflect off surfaces like snow, water and sand, causing damage to skin cells. To decrease these health risks, regularly use a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF value of 15 or higher. For example, the Lilikoi Mineral Defense Sport Sunscreen SPF 30 defends the skin from UV rays and blue light, making this a perfect year-round moisturizer. Apply the sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you head outdoors, taking extra care to target exposed areas like your lips, face, ears and hands. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If you sweat excessively or get wet, then you’ll have to reapply right after.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
With repeated sun damage, the skin across your body and face may begin to look dry, discolored and saggy.g You may also notice premature fine lines and wrinkles. Skincancer.org recommends wearing dark colored clothing from a material that is made of densely woven cloth such as denim, canvas, wool or synthetic fibers. These materials are far more protective than sheer, thin or loosely woven cloth. If the clothing is too light, UV light can penetrate through the micro holes in the weaves of a thin or light-colored material. A shirt, pants, hat and sunglasses can give you great sun protection coverage, but for the exposed areas, remember to apply sunscreen with high SPF.
3. Shield Your Eyes
UV radiation can be harmful to the eyes as you work throughout the workday. No matter the weather, you shouldn’t look directly at the sun, but sometimes exposure can’t be avoided if you’re working all day outside. We may not be able to see UV light, but it is absorbed by the tissue of the eye and can cause short-term or long-term eye damage. Short-term exposure could cause temporary painful photokeratitis (inflammation of the cornea) and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the white area of the eyeball). Long-term damage might be the development of cataracts.
It’s important to wear sunglasses to avoid developing eye issues, but forget about style. Tinted lenses do not necessarily block UV light, so check that your lenses provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. Labels will state “100% UV protection” or “UV400.”
4. Don’t Underestimate Gloves
Consider wearing gloves for times you’ll be outside for prolonged stretches — these are a must-have anyway for those working on construction sites or in gardens. Gloves defend your skin from the sun, cuts, abrasions and punctures. They can help keep your skin smooth and more youthful-looking over the years.
5. Adopt A Skin Care Routine
Heat, sweat and bacteria are the unwelcome trio of hot weather skin woes. They can produce unpleasant issues, such as breakouts, clogged pores, debris buildup and excessive oil production. Plus, extra exposure to UV rays and pollution can trigger oxidative stress, causing damage from free radicals; this can accelerate the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and fine lines.
A variety of Eminence Organic Skin Care products have been designed to hydrate and protect the skin over the summer season. For example, you can use a gentle exfoliating cleanser, like the Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser, to wash away impurities, exfoliate clogged pores and promote healthy-looking skin.
Research shows that Vitamins C and E are important for sun damage recovery. Vitamin C helps prevent free radical damage caused by UV rays and Vitamin E visibly diminishes wrinkles and uneven skin texture. We recommend the following Eminence Organics serums: Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, Marine Flower Peptide Serum or Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil.
If your complexion remains parched and dry, treat your skin with a replenishing mask to rehydrate and brighten the skin’s appearance. The Strawberry Rhubarb Masque uses shea butter and a Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Complex to provide the deep moisture you need.
6. Wear A Wide-Brimmed Hat
A skin care routine is a great help for a healthy-looking complexion, but you risk undoing all your hard work if you forget to wear a hat. A wide-brimmed hat provides added coverage for your face, scalp, neck, eyes and ears. The wider or bigger the hat, the better! This protection also gives you a better defense against rays that may penetrate above or around your sunglasses which can be damaging to the eyes.
7. Avoid Peak Sun Hours
The sun is at the peak of its intensity between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily, not including Daylight Savings time. Sun-safety precautions are a must if you have to be outside during this time. Always wear protective gear like appropriate clothing, sunglasses and apply SPF across your entire body. Seek out the shade whenever possible.
What are your tips for protecting your skin while working outside? Share them with us in the comments below!