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How to Shield Your Skin from Summer Sunshine

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By: burgundy bug

Umbrella wearing sunglasses

Source: Songs of the Month // June 2018 | Penelope Peru Photography p3

The skin is the human’s largest and fastest growing organ, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Although the sun has vitamins and nutrients that are vital to our wellbeing, the US National Library of Medicine says its ultraviolet (UV) rays can be detrimental to our skin.

“Is your epidermis showing? Don’t worry, it should be.”

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)

Beneath the outer layer of our skin are the pigment melanin, which protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet light. As our skin is exposed to the sun, it tans because the exposure prompts the production of melanin. The tan fades as the melanin is shed from our skin.

Scratching the Surface of Sunburn

Too much UV exposure results in sunburn as the rays pass through the deeper layers of the skin, damaging (if not killing) the cells.

Read: What the Heck Are UV Rays, Anyways?

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The US National Library of Medicine also says that prolonged sun exposure can decrease the elasticity of our skin, causing premature aging.

Side Effects of Sunburn

You’ll know if you have sunburn. The area of the skin will appear red and hurt upon contact. It may also itch or peel.

In severe cases, WebMD says the area of sunburnt skin may swell or develop blisters. You may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as chills, a fever, nausea, and fatigue.

How to Treat Sunburn

First and foremost, stay hydrated and don’t go out in the sun! If you do have to go outside, be sure to apply sunscreen and cover the affected area. Seek shade whenever possible.

Exercise caution. Depending on the severity of the sunburn, you may find relief in applying a cool compress. Lotions containing aloe or menthol have a cooling effect, which may alleviate discomfort.

However, the best method for treating sunburn is prevention.

How to Protect Your Skin During Summer Time

Lather Up That Sunscreen

“Who needs sunscreen? Everyone. Sunscreen use can help prevent skin cancer by protecting you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.”

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)

Sunscreen, sunblock, sun protector – whatever you call it, you need it. Sunscreen is an important tool for fighting skin cancer, as depicted in the infographic by AAD.

Generously apply sunscreen where your body is exposed, such as your arms, legs, neck, face, or your back and midriff (if you’re wearing a bathing suit).

Applying sunscreen once isn’t enough. It has to be reapplied throughout the day, approximately every two hours.

It’s also worth noting that while some sunscreens may be “water resistant,” they are certainly not waterproof. They will wear off while swimming or sweating, and must also be reapplicated accordingly.

When selecting a sunscreen, the AAD recommends a sun protection factor (SPF) that is 30 or higher. It’s also important to select a broad spectrum sunscreen when possible, as it will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

And yes, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) says you need to wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy.

Cover Up

While it’s impractical to bundle up during the summer months, make an effort to select weather-appropriate clothing that will provide you adequate coverage from the sun.

Thin shawl jackets, wide-brim hats, and parasols are perfect for protecting your skin. Plus, it gives you an excuse to accessorize.

Seek Shade

You shouldn’t spend your summer hiding from the sun indoors. Instead, seek shade while you’re outside.

Whether it’s under a tree, an umbrella or tent on the beach, a parasol, or an awning, there are plenty of creative ways to enjoy a little fresh air without sacrificing your skin.

Tread Lightly

Splashing around in a pool, ocean, or lake is great for cooling off, but their surface can reflect even more sunlight onto you, according to the ASCO.

Tread lightly – and remember, sunscreen will need to be reapplied more often while engaged in aquatic activities.

Drink Up, Buttercup

The “water sucks” scene from Waterboy

Source: Waterboy – Water Sucks scene | WeeGeex3

At this point, most of us have had the idea that adults have to drink eight glasses of water per day hammered into our heads, but that number isn’t as exact as you’d expect.

There is no recommendation for precisely how much water an adult should drink on a daily basis, according to the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

The magical number eight all stems from the US Food and Nutrition Board’s Dietary Guidelines released in 1945, states research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Nevertheless, water is critical to our survival. It helps our bodies maintain a normal temperature, cushion our joints, protect our spinal cord, and remove waste, the CDC reports.

The CDC also says you will need to hydrate even more in hotter climates, while engaged in physical activity, and while you are sick with a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Water consumption also provides our skin with a myriad of benefits and wards off dryness, according to research published in Dovepress.

Lather Up That Lotion

Lotions and moisturizers can revitalize your skin after a long day of being battered by the sun.

Not only can it provide sunburn relief, lotion will keep your skin from drying out and peeling from all of the heat. Lotion becomes even more important in dryer climates, just like water.

In Conclusion

You don’t have to hide from the sun to shield your skin from destructive UV rays. So long as you aren’t reckless with your body, subjecting yourself to prolonged sun exposure without proper protection or water, you can enjoy the great outdoors ’till the cows come home.

Cow chewing grass

Source: [FRAMES] Cow Chewing 01 | Penelope Peru Photography P³

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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