Summer is upon us, and for all its glory the season makes a number of things perilously difficult. Getting a good tee time, for one. Booking a week’s vacation basically anywhere. And, yes, confronting ourselves before a full-length mirror, in our bathing suits.
What summer doesn’t need to be is an affront to your skin. Whether young or old, you should follow a few simple rules to ensure that the summers ahead of you and your skin are many.
- With sunscreen, the more acronyms the better. SPF indicates only the level of protection from UVB rays. Make sure to find a sunscreen with UVA protection as well, and go for an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Use lots of it, and often. An adult needs approximately 2-3 tablespoons to cover the whole body (the size of a golf ball)—and another teaspoon for the face. Reapply every two hours, as sweat, water and other factors can diminish its effectiveness. And don’t forget ears, nose, lips, hairline and feet!
- Kids aren’t simply tiny adults. Children have specific needs when it comes to their skin, which is extremely sensitive. Choose a delicate sunscreen made specifically for kids. Also, be nice. Spray aerosol sunscreens onto your hands first, then rub it on their face. (The other way around is certain to produce tantrums.)
- Stay safe by hitting the bottle. It’s not advice you hear often, since it applies strictly to suntanning. Basically, the safest tan is one you can spray on. Whether you’re looking for a hint of colour or to be festooned in Olympic bronze, you’ll find a cream, gel, or spray to suit your needs. Two caveats: 1) Obviously, a fake tan provides no protection from the real sun. And 2) Wash your hands vigorously after application.
- Aftercare is as vital as pre-care. Sun and ocean water can dry out the skin and leave it begging for moisture. Make sure to apply a layer of rich lotion or oil after you shower—and always wash sunscreen off at the end of the day.