Beauty Tips to Protect Your Skin This Summer
[God] gave us the bodies we live our lives in, the homes for our souls. We owe it to God to take care of our bodies even more than we owe it to ourselves.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed dermatologist or expert in skin care; all recommendations are just what works for me personally. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions.
The sunniest season of the year is right around the corner, and time for all the activities that come with it: grilling out, road trips, picnics, watermelon snacking, bonfires, days spent at the beach, pools, fairs, festivals, concerts, hiking trails on a beautiful day, the list goes on. We've been waiting all year, and it's finally upon us. What's also upon us is the risks of heavy sun exposure. Don't worry! We're here to help you have fun in the sun and share tips that will ensure you have memorable days outside this summer!
Now, the sun and the damage it can cause are no joke. While there are advantages to protecting your skin for aesthetic purposes, I think the more important purpose to consider is personal health. The long-term implications of constantly burnt and sun-affected skin can lead to temporary problems like sun poisoning or future problems like permanent skin damage and skin cancer. Protecting the temple that is our body is our responsibility. While God constantly advocates for our spiritual health, He also promotes physical health.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
He gave us the bodies we live our lives in, the homes for our souls. We owe it to God to take care of our bodies even more than we owe it to ourselves. I once saw it written that we need to invest in our bodies like it's the house we're going to live in for the next 70 years. That sure does make you think differently about skincare, huh? It's never too early to be taking care of yourself, and it's not high maintenance to take the extra steps necessary to keep you and your family safe.
By following these steps, you can make a huge difference in your skin's overall health:
Applying sunscreen should be everyone's anthem whenever the sun starts to peak out from behind the clouds, even on days as early as April and even on days as late as September. It's the best way to prevent your skin from burning in the sun. Most dermatologists recommend using at least SPF 30, although this may vary from person to person, so always make sure to do your own research on what will work best for you.
Take into consideration how sensitive your skin is as well as the environment you're in. I know one of the situations where I most find myself getting burnt is when I take my annual trip down south. Being a northerner with fair skin, I always forget that the Florida sun is a lot more powerful than I'm used to! I usually reapply a few times throughout the day, and I apply a higher SPF than I would in my hometown. The closer to the equator, the higher the UV rays; keep that in mind for your family vacations this summer!
Even if I'm not swimming or going somewhere, if I know I will be outside all day, I apply it. I have sensitive and acne-prone skin, and I've found that Neutrogena's Clear Face sunscreen works fine as a primer for other makeup. It works as good insurance where I know I'm protected all day. It's important to use sunscreen even when you wouldn't think you need to. When it's raining or cloudy, the sun and its UV rays are still there and just as harmful. The sun can reach you when you're under shade too. Apply it everywhere that will be exposed to the sun, and don't forget places like your ears and your feet, and make sure that you don't wash it off of your hands by accident!
Staying covered up when you can is also a great thing to do, especially between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, when the UV rays are strongest. Of course, you can't rely solely on shade, but it can help. Wearing a hat, wide brim or baseball cap, will add a layer of protection for your skin. When possible, lounging under a shade umbrella or a tree is better than being fully exposed to the sun. I've had times during the day when my sunscreen wasn't able to do the trick no matter how much I applied, and I would put on my cover-up or a t-shirt to cover my shoulders, chest, and back, which are vulnerable spots because they're the most exposed to the sun. Wearing bigger sunglasses is also a great weight to prevent eye strain and damage when out in the sun. The darker, the better, and if you find a pair with UVA and UVB protection, you're golden.
Get Skin Checks
Getting an annual skin check set up for you and your family with a dermatologist is an investment in all of your futures. I've had a skin check appointment set up yearly since I was thirteen years old. This is especially imperative for people who have skin diseases running in their family, people who have fairer or more sensitive skin, or people who have freckles or moles. You can even monitor your skin yourself, keeping an eye out for anything abnormal or if a mole has changed at all. However, a professional will be able to tell you if something could be suspicious or even a problem. If you plan on being in the sun, skin checks are for you.
Use the Right Products
If you are someone who can't be in the sun without getting burnt, or even someone who's just looking to expose yourself less for the good of your skin but still want to look tan, there's a solution! Fake tanning lotions, mousses, and waters are here to bring you the bronzy glow you desire without the harm. I'm not talking about tanning oils to help you tan while you sit in the sun; those are very bad for your skin! I'm also not talking about fake tanning in a tanning bed; wow, those are even worse for your skin! I'm talking about the creams or mousses on the market that you can leave on your skin for a short period of time, let develop indoors, and then rinse. Instant tan!
Even if you aren't fake tanning, it's still important to use the right products. These include lightweight moisturizers to keep your skin from frying without weighing it down in all of the balmy summer humidity. Clean your face well in the morning and night, use aloe for recovery, and exfoliate once or twice every few weeks to get all the sweat and grime out.
Foods for Glowing Skin
What you put in your body is just as important as what goes on it where skin is concerned! That being said, stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of water is something you need to do in the summer already, but knowing it helps your skin stay moisturized and healthy is another plus. Foods that are rich in omega-3s are also great for rebuilding skin cell walls which strengthens your skin! What's better for a summer night than a yummy salmon dinner on the grill? And, of course, the structural protein that helps make up our skin, collagen. Adding a collagen powder to your morning coffee or taking a supplement as directed can help!
Don't Strive for Perfection
The most important thing to remember in our journey with protecting the skin is not to confuse simple aging with sun damage. No matter how diligently we shield our skin from the sun in our youth, our skin will change as we get older, and this is not a bad thing! Do it for your health, not society's expectations. Don't allow the unrealistic beauty standard of today to convince you for a second that natural wrinkles everyone gets aren't just marks of the wisdom you've earned or your smile lines just echoes of a lifetime of happiness! God thinks you're beautiful and cares about far more than your outward appearance.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment... rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
Photo Credit: (C)Getty Images/jacoblund
Annabelle Gross is a writer with a passion for the written word and the Word. She is a recent graduate of Grove City College where she earned a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Marketing. She lives in Cleveland and when she isn't writing her latest novel, you can find her spending time with family and friends, sailing on Lake Erie, or visiting new and exciting places.