Out of all the things preoccupying your mind as you prepare for Spring Break, I doubt that skin cancer and premature aging receive the priority that they need. It’s easy to ignore the dangers of poor skincare during life’s care free, unadulterated moments but I assure you that the consequences could be dire. Preventing skin disorders and diseases is easier than you think, it just takes a little bit of careful planning.
UV rays cause the most damage during midday. Avoid the sun between the hours of 10:00 and 4:00. If you can’t resist the beach (and really, who can?) then make sure you take appropriate measures to protect your skin.
Apply sunblock with at least SPF 30 to all exposed skin, and reapply it as needed. Sweat and water on the skin may require you to reapply more often because the product will wear off quickly. If you don’t like the greasy feeling of sunblock on your face, then use a lower SPF and simply reapply it more often than you would with a higher SPF. I prefer to use tinted moisturizer with an SPF 20. I reapply it regularly and eliminate the need for foundation.
Don’t forget that water reflects the suns rays, and may therefor cause sunburns more readily than if you were on land.
Resist the urge to hit up a tanning salon pre-break. Tanning beds, regardless of the glow they give your bikini-clad body, aren’t a healthy choice overall. Spray tans, on the other hand, are a harmless and fabulous way to get a kiss of color!
After-sun skin care should consist of a mild skin cleanser and moisturizer. Both should be specific to your skin type.
Avoid acne-care products with active ingredients, salicylic acid being the most common one. Discontinue use of your acne products at least a few days before your vacation starts. If you have anything that’s strong enough to require a prescription then do not go into direct sunlight without doctor approval.
Nurture your skin from the inside-out. Proper hydration and nutrition will help provide your skin with the protection it needs.
Pucker up and lather on the chapstick! The skin on your lips is very delicate so don’t forget your SPF lip balm when you pack.
Remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body and is your first defense against harmful pathogens. Take care of it, so that it can take care of you! Skin cancer is a serious disease and long-term effects of careless sun exposure are often times irreversible. Don’t proclaim the sun public enemy number one, but enjoy it cautiously. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask a professional. Yours truly is always available to answer.
March 8th, 2011