After a long winter and an unprecedented amount of time indoors, the temptation to shed all your layers of cold-weather clothes and bare your skin in the warmth of the sun is strong. While many things in life have changed over the last few months, one thing remains constant — too much sun exposure is dangerous. In fact, your lack of exposure this year makes it even more critical that you take extra precautions when you finally do go out.
Our team of expert aestheticians here at Gago Wellness in Brighton, Michigan sees the damaging effects of sun damage everyday. If your skin already shows the signs of premature aging and sun damage, we can help you turn back the clock and reverse much of that damage. But you can do yourself a big favor by following these five tips to prevent the destruction before it starts.
1. Sunscreen rules
It’s probably not surprising that sunscreen tops our list of must-dos for protecting your skin when you go outside, as it’s still the very best way to stay safe out there. Look for a broad-spectrum product that has an SPF of 30. This ensures protection from both types of the sun’s harmful rays (UVA and UVB). Higher SPF numbers only marginally increase the amount of time you can spend in the sun, but not enough to pay more for them.
Make sure you reapply every 2-3 hours, even if the label says it’s waterproof or sweatproof. And always check the expiration date.
2. Hit the shade
Smart sun protection doesn’t mean you need to stay locked up inside; it does mean making smart choices when you’re out there. Find shade whenever you can. If you’re at a sporting event, sit under an awning or a tree. If there are no natural shade options, bring your own. Large umbrellas and wide-brimmed hats block the sun from hitting you directly and are important tools in the prevention of skin cancer.
Clothing is a form of shade as well. In fact, some manufacturers infuse their garments with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) to block damaging rays from penetrating through to your skin.
3. Check the clock
You can help keep your skin safe from sun damage by simply knowing when the sun’s rays are the most intense and avoid going out during that time.
That means go ahead and play tennis or tend your garden in the morning or late afternoon. But do your best to choose indoor activities between 10am and 3pm.
4. Protect your eyes
We often choose sunglasses because they’re fashionable and match our outfit. But their primary purpose is to protect your eyes from sun damage. Overexposure to the sun can burn your eyes just like it burns your skin. The effects can range from mild to serious and include:
- Blurry vision
- Macular degeneration
- Eyelid cancer
Protect your eyes by choosing sunglasses that block 99%-100% of all UV rays.
5. Love your lips
The skin on your lips is especially susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer because it contains no melanin. Most people who diligently apply sunscreen throughout the day and heed the warnings about the harmful effects of the sun neglect their lips.
Every time you go outside, make sure to take out your tube or tub of lip balm, and make sure it contains a sun-protection factor. Do this regardless of the weather, and you'll keep your lips safe, soft, and supple.
Oops, I already have sun damage. Now what?
Whether you’ve been a sun worshipper your whole life or you accidentally forgot sunscreen a couple times and got badly burned, you likely have sun damage already. Classic signs are:
- Dark spots
- Scaly rough patches
- Red, itchy skin
At Gago Wellness, we can help reduce the traces of sun damage on your skin with a revolutionary technology called Forever Young BroadBand Light™ (BBL). This safe, noninvasive, and highly effective treatment penetrates the layers of your skin, targeting the spots and patches of damaged cells.
Forever Young BBL works from the inside out by stimulating your body’s own natural healing properties, and increases your production of collagen. It also triggers cell renewal so you can replace the damaged cells and end up with fresher, younger-looking skin.
If you have sun-damaged skin or any other skin issues, call us at 810-315-6863 or request a new consultation with our online booking tool. We can help you achieve smoother, clearer skin in time for summer.