Sun Protection 101: The Best Ways to Prevent Sun Damage (That Aren’t Just Wearing SPF)

Summer is almost here! While many of us may be living for the warmer temperatures and brighter days, this season isn’t always the kindest to our skin. Even those who don’t have to worry much about burning still have to take measures to ensure their skin isn’t at risk for premature aging or other damage caused by UV rays.

The most obvious way to prevent sun damage is to simply wear SPF. It’s a vital part of any beauty routine regardless of the season or the weather. But there are a few extra steps you can take to go above and beyond for your skin. Let’s find out what they are!

Wear Protective Clothing & Accessories

Your summer fashion choices have the power to offer extra protection. Try to avoid clothing with short sleeves and hemlines that expose your skin. Instead, opt for long-sleeved garments in lightweight fabrics that won’t make you feel hot.

Be sure to add in accessories like UV-blocking sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats that serve as stylish shields for your eyes and face — the skin on your face is more thin and delicate than the skin on your body, which makes it more susceptible to damage.

Seek Shade

Try to stay indoors or at least stick to the shade during peak sun hours. The sun’s rays tend to be strongest from 10 AM to 4 PM (you can get more accurate readings by checking your city’s UV index through a weather app), so plan your activities accordingly. You can always carry an umbrella or parasol with you just in case!

Use Physical Barriers

Staying indoors still won’t provide you with full protection from the sun. UV rays can penetrate through glass, but you can combat this by applying UV-blocking films to your car and home windows, or installing tinted windows.

Stay Hydrated & Maintain A Healthy Diet

Eat and drink your way to healthier skin with plenty of water and a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Staying hydrated improves the skin’s ability to repair itself, while the right foods help protect the skin from damage. Look for foods like berries, leafy greens, nuts, salmon, and flaxseeds.

Use Antioxidant-Rich Skincare Products

Antioxidants can also be applied topically to maintain skin health. Vitamin C is an excellent skincare ingredient, since it helps to neutralize free radicals caused by sun exposure while brightening the skin and boosting collagen production. Niacinamide is another fantastic choice; it reduces inflammation, improves elasticity, and enhances the skin barrier function.

Exfoliate Regularly

Make exfoliation a regular part of your skincare routine to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of fresh, healthy skin. Don't overdo it, though — over exfoliation can cause irritation. Once or twice a week is the sweet spot for bright, healthy skin.

Keep your skin healthy and safe this summer by following the tips we’ve shared!

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