Care for Your Skin in the Summer Sun

Care for Your Skin in the Summer Sun

Growing up, I never used sunscreen. It just wasn’t something I was taught. It was normal for my dad to turn a darker shade of brown after playing soccer games in the intense summer heat. I followed suit. I also tanned nicely after being out in the sun for 30 minutes.

My mother and her sisters, on the other hand, have extremely light complexions. They turn as red as lobsters with just a few kisses of sunlight. It wasn’t until I was a bit older and outside in my aunt and uncle’s pool all summer that my mom would tell them to make me put sun screen on.

The amount of melanin, a pigment chemical in peoples’ skin, determines if they have light or darker complexions. It also plays a direct role in the risk for skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation   reports. melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the United States. While it accounts for less than two percent of all skin cancer, it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us, the risk for melanoma is different for different ethnicities. Caucasians have the greatest risk. Their risk is three to five times higher than Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders,  and 15 to 25 times higher than Latinos and African-Americans.

While a darker complexion allows some protection, the important bottom-line is that people of color can still develop melanoma.

As the largest organ on our bodies, it’s hard to ignore the look and feel of your skin over time. Regardless of your skin color or amount of melanin, you can take steps to protect your skin and keep it healthy. Here are a few.

Protect Yourself From the Sun.

Show your skin a little TLC to help to prevent wrinkles and age spots and other skin problems. It will also lower your risk for skin cancer.

  • Slather on sunscreen. Apply one with a 15 SPF or higher every two hours and right after swimming.
  • Stay in the shade. Avoid the sun when its rays are their strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Cover your skin. Wear light, breathable, protective clothing to put an extra layer of protection between you and the sun’s rays.
Don’t Smoke.

Smoking makes your skin look older. It narrows the tiny blood vessels in the skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn’t get the nourishment it needs. It also depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients important for healthy skin and its ability to heal.

Rethink Your Skin Care Routine.

Be gentle with your skin. Although your skin care process is good, it might take a toll on your skin. Here are a few things that you can do. Bathe with warm water. Chose a natural soap. Pat yourself dry. And don’t forget to moisturize.

Eat a Healthy Diet.

Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Rich in vitamins, natural anti-oxidants and essential fatty-acids, they help keep skin healthy.

Manage Stress.

Your skin in sensitive. Uncontrolled stress can trigger breakouts and other skin problems. Give your skin and mood a healthy boost by exercising, getting enough sleep, watching a funny movie or listening to your favorite music. They all help keep stress under wraps.

Do you have any tried-and-true routines to keep your skin healthy and glowing? Tell us in the comments.

Sources: Melanoma Overview,   The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2021; Melanoma of the Skin Statistics,   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021;  Skin Care: 5 Tips for Healthy Skin,   Mayo Clinic, 2019; Sun Safety,   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021; 10 Tips to Healthy Skin from the Inside Out    UT Health East Texas, 2018.

Originally published 5/18/2018; Revised 2019, 2022

Anonymous
Parents
  • We realize how hard it must be to hear how awful the sun is for your skin after all, who abhors multi day at the pool or shoreline fortunately shielding your skin from the sun is simple here are a couple of basic hints to remain safe in the sun this late spring. Many thanks for giving the imperative data to me. 

Comment
  • We realize how hard it must be to hear how awful the sun is for your skin after all, who abhors multi day at the pool or shoreline fortunately shielding your skin from the sun is simple here are a couple of basic hints to remain safe in the sun this late spring. Many thanks for giving the imperative data to me. 

Children
No Data