The sun is the skin’s worst enemy. Each time those UV rays hit your skin, they wreak so much damage. Not only does this lead to changes in the appearance of your skin, from wrinkles to roughness to discoloration, but it can also cause the development of skin cancer.
If you want to keep your skin and your body feeling as healthy as possible, protecting your skin from sun damage is crucial. Read on as Celestolite talks you through eight ways in which you can do this!
1) Use Sunscreen Everyday, All Year Round
Your best form of defense against sun damage is sunscreen. This will basically form a sun-protecting layer over the surface of your skin, meaning that every inch of your skin that’s covered with sunscreen won’t be quite so vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV rays.
Sadly, the majority of Americans don’t use sunscreen when spending time outdoors. Why is this? Research points to one of the biggest reasons being that people find applying sunscreen an inconvenience. It takes up precious minutes, which they would rather be spending doing something else.
If you can relate, consider an SPF moisturizer instead of a dedicated sunscreen, like the Celestolite Nova Bright Skin Cream SPF 30. This way, when you apply your moisturizer while carrying out your morning skincare routine, you’ll also be giving your skin some sun protection.
It’s also worth mentioning that sunscreen needs to be used year-round. Although UV rays may not feel quite as strong during the chilly and dull days of winter, they’re still there and are still capable of causing sun damage. UV rays can penetrate through cloud, as well as glass, meaning that your skin could still be at risk on a gloomy day that you’re spending indoors. Keep your skin covered with SPF 365 days a year and you won’t have to worry about any potential sun damage!
2) Reapply Your Sunscreen Every Two Hours
Using an SPF moisturizer ensures that you get your first application of sunscreen for the day in. However, that’s not enough to keep you protected until the sun goes down…
Regardless of the SPF level that you go for, the effectiveness of every sunscreen will begin to decline after about two hours. This will leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage once again, until you apply more sunscreen.
What should you do if you can’t seem to remember to reapply your sunscreen every two hours?
One way to get around this would be to set reminders on your phone. Alternatively, invest in a travel-sized sunscreen and carry this around with your phone, so that it’s always easy to see and access.
Another option would be to get into the habit of applying SPF each time you eat a meal or a snack. Coat your skin with it before or after breakfast, during your mid-morning break, at lunchtime, and then again later on in the afternoon.
Of course, if you’ve been swimming or sweating, you’ll need to reapply your sunscreen immediately after this since the water will wash parts of it away, leaving your skin vulnerable.
3) Use the Right Amount of Sunscreen
Research shows that even when people diligently apply and reapply sunscreen, they can sometimes still be prone to sun damage. Why? Because they’re not applying enough of it. This then means that the skin isn’t receiving the SPF rating printed on the bottle, resulting in unexpected UV damage.
So, how much sunscreen do you need to be applying?
Basically, every inch of exposed skin needs to be covered. This usually amounts to one teaspoon of sunscreen for your face and neck or an ounce, which is the same volume as a shot glass, if you’re covering your body too.
4) Stay in the Shade During Peak Sun
Although sun damage can occur at any point during the day, it tends to be most detrimental between the hours of 10am and 4pm. This is when UV rays are at their peak strength and are most capable of causing damage.
Of course, these hours will vary depending on where you live, but those guidelines are still worth following. Ideally, during these hours, stay in the shade as much as possible.
With that said, keep in mind that staying in the shade isn’t going to be enough to fully protect your sun – you’ll need to also combine this with SPF.
5) Wear Clothing and Accessories That Can Block Sun Damage
Clothing is a great way to provide an additional barrier between your skin and the sun. Long-sleeved tops, loose pants, and long skirts will all ensure that your skin isn’t receiving a direct hit from those UV rays.
Tightly woven fabrics tend to offer the most protection, particularly if they are in a dark color. Thicker fabrics, such as denim, are also more beneficial than thinner materials, like cotton.
If you want to take things a step further, consider diversifying your wardrobe by adding in some UV-protective clothing. These are made from specialized materials designed to block sun exposure. In the same way that the power of a sunscreen can be gauged by its SPF rating, UV protective clothing will come with a UPF rating. The higher the number, the more protective that item of clothing will be!
The right accessories can also be a game-changer. A wide-brimmed hat will cast a shadow over your face, giving it some extra protection. Make sure that the brim is at least three inches wide. Anything narrower than this may leave some areas of your face or neck exposed.
For maximum protection, pair this with some UV-blocking sunglasses. Wrap-around styles tend to be the most effective since they cover a greater surface area of skin. However, any large-framed sunglasses will give the thin and delicate skin around your eyes an extra layer of defense against sun damage.
6) Avoid Exfoliating in the Morning
It’s common knowledge that exfoliation is vital if you want healthy-looking skin. This is the best way to clear your skin of the dead skin cells that have been building up on its surface, revealing the newer and fresher skin cells that lie beneath.
The downside to this is that those new skin cells will be quite delicate. The dead skin cells that you’ve just removed may have been contributing to a dull and rough complexion, but they were also partially blocking UV rays from reaching the deeper layers of your skin. Remove that protective layer and your skin becomes even more vulnerable to sun damage.
So, what’s the solution?
Firstly, save your exfoliation sessions for the evening. This way, your skin will have some time to recover overnight. It won’t be quite so sensitive to sun damage the next morning, compared to if you were to exfoliate immediately before spending the day in the sun.
Using a gentle exfoliator can also be helpful. This way, you won’t end up over-stripping your skin of its protective capabilities. A product like the Celestolite Estrella Facial Peel will exfoliate your skin without leaving it feeling vulnerable. At the same time, thanks to its infusion of meteorite powder, which is our signature ingredient, it will also give your complexion a gorgeous glow!
7) Add Green Tea Extract to Your Morning Skincare Routine
Green tea is renowned for its polyphenol content. These powerful antioxidants give green tea its complexion-transforming abilities, which is why it’s such a popular ingredient in skincare products. One compound in particular, known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, has been studied in great detail when it comes to how, when combined with a sunscreen, it leaves the skin feeling even more protected from the sun.
Although green tea would never be able to take the place of an actual sunscreen, all of this research points to how this ingredient would still be a worthy addition to your morning skincare routine. Not only will it enhance how protected your skin feels, but its potent antioxidants will also work to reduce the visibility of any existing sun damage you may be dealing with.
This is why we’ve included green tea in the SPF moisturizer that we featured earlier. You’ll find it in several other Celestolite products too, such as the Luna Luminous Touch, a silky lightweight moisturizer, and the Estrella Eye Serum. It’s also in our Nova Dark Spot Corrector, which is an amazing formula to have to hand if the sun has already caused the appearance of dark spots or discoloration on your skin.
8) Eat Foods Containing Beta-Carotene
It goes without saying that a healthy and balanced diet is vital if you want a clear and bright complexion. However, when it comes to shielding your appearance from sun damage, there are certain foods out there that are more beneficial than others.
What should you be eating more of? Anything that contains beta-carotene. Numerous studies confirm that consuming this carotenoid gives the skin some additional sun protection. However, each time you’re exposed to the sun, the levels of beta-carotene in the skin decline. This is why it’s so important to eat foods that are rich in this nutrient regularly and consistently.
Where can you find beta-carotene?
Fruits and vegetables that are yellow or orange in color are some of the best sources. This means everything from carrots and sweet potatoes to butternut squash, apricots, and yellow bell peppers. Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are also rich in beta-carotene, along with several other skin-loving nutrients.
Again, a diet high in beta-carotene isn’t going to provide enough sun protection for you to be able to cast your sunscreen aside. However, it will keep your skin feeling better protected from within, saving your skin from the visible impact of sun damage.
There’s no getting away from the many ways in which the sun can cause problems for your complexion. If you don’t want to be dealing with the appearance of skin aging, discoloration, or, at worst, skin cancer, then knowing how to protect your skin from the sun is essential. Fortunately, so long as you’re dedicated to the cause, this is pretty easy. Follow the tips that we’ve shared above and your skin will reward you with newfound radiance!