The sun is more intense in the summer, which means that exposure to UV rays is greater. While sunburn is a clear sign that UV radiation has damaged the DNA in skin cells, the damage to your skin actually occurs as soon as you go under the sun.

When sunlight comes into contact with our skin, it damages our skin by stripping of barriers of lipids, causing inflammation, and stimulating collagen-destructing enzymes. This ages our skin prematurely in the form of brown spots, coarse skin, and wrinkles. 

Getting sunburned just once every 2 years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. However, even cumulative UV exposure will increase your risk of skin cancer. That’s why it's so important to follow summer skin care tips to protect your skin and reduce damage caused by UV exposure, especially during this time of the year.

8 summer skin care tips

1. Spend less time in the sun

The longer you are out in the sun, the more UV rays your receive. 

Reduce your risk of skin damage by spending less time under the sun. Walk under shaded areas and minimize your time outside during the sun's peak hours (10 am to 4 pm) when UV radiation is at its greatest. As a general rule of thumb, if your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.

2. Protect your skin with sunscreen...?

Sunscreen has been proven to actually cause cancer. We think this article by Wellness Mama explains it best! While we are not encouraging you not to use sunscreen, we are encouraging you to do your own research.

Remember: any skin care product that you apply is absorbed into your body through your skin. So, if you do use a sunscreen make sure that is natural, toxic-free and chemical-free.

3. Wear protective clothing

Cover up exposed areas of skin with hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothes and pants before going outdoors. The more skin you can cover, the better you can protect your skin from the sun. 

4. Use sunscreen lip balm

We often forget to protect one of the most exposed (and sensitive) parts of the body - the lips! Lip cancer is rarely heard of but more common than we think, and sun exposure is one of its major risk factors.

Regular lip balm won't stop UV rays from reaching your lips and may even focus UV rays on your lips.

Protect your lips using SPF-fortified, organic lip balm that's toxic-free and chemical-free. It'll also prevent cracked lips and keep your pout hydrated. Don't forget to reapply lip balm regularly and after every meal or drink.

5. Don’t forget these typically missed spots

If you do apply sunscreen, we tend to forget these areas; neck, ears, scalp, feet, and eyelids because we can't see them without a mirror.

Wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes.

If you are going to be exposed to the sun for longer periods of time, remember to apply organic all natural sunscreen to the tops of your hands and feet, and the front and back of your neck and ears. To protect your scalp, wear a broad sunhat or spray sunscreen directly on your scalp and hair.

6. Stay hydrated

Dehydrated skin is more vulnerable to damage, so it's important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water keeps skin hydrated and also assists in detoxification. 

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day or more if temperatures are high or you're spending more time outdoors. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these dehydrate your body. Stick to good ‘ol plain water instead.

7. Soothe sunburns

Treat sunburns or skin that’s been overexposed to the sun as soon as possible. Take a cool bath or shower to reduce heat, and use an organic moisturizer that's chemical-free and toxic-free to ease the discomfort after dryness. Apply the moisturizer within 2 minutes after a bath or shower to trap the hydration in your skin. 

8. Check your skin regularly

Examine your skin regularly to detect any suspicious growths or changes. Doing so regularly can also help you detect early warning signs. If you notice anything unusual, contact a dermatologist immediately. For those who spend time in the sun regularly, it's a good idea to schedule yearly skin checkups to stay safe.

While we all need sun exposure daily its important not to burn your skin. UV exposure is the greatest during the summer, it's important to keep in mind that UV rays still reach the Earth every day regardless of the season. During winter, snow can reflect 85 to 90% of the sun's UV rays! So follow these summer skin care tips not only during summer but all year round to stay sun-safe and protect your skin.