How To Avoid Burns and Skin Damage This Summer

Don't get burned this summer! It's really easy for your skin to suffer from sunburn but it's not the only thing that can happen when you spend time under the harmful UV rays. Sun damage can also strike, without you even realizing it. Here is how to keep your skin protected and pretty all season long.

Common Mistakes That Burn Your Skin

There are some important things to avoid if you want to prevent sunburn.

Not Reapplying Sunscreen Regularly

It's not enough to apply sunscreen before stepping outside and then not reapplying it. You should aim to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or sooner if you are spending time in water or working up a sweat outside as these will wash away the sun cream.

Not Wearing Clothing That Blocks the Rays

Covering up your skin when you're outside is a must to do in conjunction with wearing sunscreen. The best clothes are those that are loose and made of tightly-woven fabric as these protect your skin against the harmful rays. You should opt for darker colours as these absorb the sun's rays more than lighter ones, keeping them away from your skin. Wide-brimmed hats are also trendy accessories to keep the sun out of your face and off your neck and shoulders.

Not Protecting Your Eyes and Lips

The skin around your eye area and on your lips is often neglected but these are prone to burns and sun damage because they're so delicate. Wear sunglasses that cover a large part of your face to protect the delicate skin around your eyes and choose a lip balm with SPF of at least 15 or higher to keep your lips hydrated and protected against the rays.

Not Eating A Diet That Prevents Sun Damage

Some food ingredients have been found to increase your skin's protection against the sun.

Lycopene is found in tomatoes and can protect against sun damage. Research has found that when women at 55g of tomato paste that contained 16 mg of lycopene daily for three months, they had greater protection against sun damage. Eat tomatoes in pastes and sauces or eat cooked tomatoes as these all have greater amounts of lycopene than raw produce.

Antioxidants, most easily found by choosing fresh fruit and vegetables that are rich in color, fight free radicals in the body that can cause an array of damage, including damage to the skin from the sun. This includes wrinkles, pigmentation and even cancer. Aim for five servings of fresh produce daily to keep your antioxidant levels high.

Although such foods should never be viewed as substitutes to sunscreen, they can definitely help to bolster your skin's protection against the damaging rays.

Using Skincare with Sun-Sensitive Ingredients

Some ingredients that are commonly found in skincare can actually be harmful because they make your skin more vulnerable to the sun's damaging rays. These ingredients include citrus in the form of DIY skincare recipes, lavender, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that are commonly found in exfoliating products. By removing the surface layer of your dead skin, AHAs make your fresher skin cells that are on display easy targets for the sun's wrath. Go easy on such products when you're spending time in the sun so that you keep your skin protected.

Avoiding skin burns and sun damage is really simple if you follow the correct rules. Enjoy the sun, but be smart about how you spend time under its harmful rays so you maintain the health and beauty of your skin.

This article was a guest post written by Mark Kirkpatrick. 
Mark Kirkpatrick is a blogger and tech enthusiast in Los Angeles, California. He has found that productivity starts with healthy habits and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement.