Staying Sun Safe this Summer
It’s easy to stay sun safe, from top to toe.
Wrinkles. Age spots. Cancer. There’s a long list of ways that the sun can damage our skin. Not only that, some medications, including specific pain meds and antidepressants, can make you more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. This is known as photosensitivity, and makes protecting yourself from the sun even more crucial.
But sunshine has one key benefit. It helps the body make vitamin D, a vitamin that many of us do not get enough of. Getting enough vitamin D has many advantages. “Vitamin D maintains bone density and may stop some cancers and reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis,” says Kathy Fields, M.D., a dermatologist in San Francisco.
Additionally, vitamin D may reduce aches and pain in your body. An article published in American Family Physician reported on a link between back and bone pain and muscle aches stemming from a lack of the sun-loving vitamin. “The best way to keep your levels up isn’t basking on the beach, though,” warns Fields. Instead, eat vitamin D-rich salmon and fortified orange juice or take a daily supplement with 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day. And stay vigilant about sun protection from head to toe with these products:
Protect Your Hair
Sun protection factor, also known as SPF, isn’t just for your skin. In fact, SPF-infused products defend the scalp and hair against harmful rays, too. “Overexposure to the sun will cause your hair to be dry to the point of breaking,” says Mark Garrison, owner of his hair salon in New York City.
Another perk: Hair products with SPF prevent fading, whether your hair color is natural or from a bottle.
Try these: Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil ($26), a mist with wintergreen and cinnamon bark oils that protect locks for 16 hours; and Philip Kingsley Swimcap ($34), which seals hair from the assaults of salt, chlorine and sun.
Protect Your Mouth
The skin on your lips is thinner, making it more vulnerable to the sun than the rest of your body. Additionally, sun exposure destroys collagen, causing your lips to become thinner over time. A recent study found than less than 25 percent of Americans use some sort of lip protection. Now that you know how important it is, protect your lips with an SPF lip balm.
Protect Your Eyes
Over time, exposure to the sun’s rays can cause some serious damage to our eyes and the surrounding skin, even leading to vision loss and conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration or various cancers. UV-rated sunglasses or contact lenses can help ward off cataracts.
Protect Your Face
The skin on your face is sensitive, and overexposure to the sun can cause damage, including melanoma, the most common form of cancer for young adults, which can be deadly. Not to mention that excessive sun exposure will also bring out fine lines, wrinkles and brown spots. Choosing the right facial products and investing in a good sun hat will help keep your face protected this summer.