With summer in full swing, you’re probably spending a considerable amount of time soaking up the sun. It’s the perfect time to relax, lay out by the pool, and work on your tan. But while you’re basking in the sun’s glory, it’s important to remember that too much sun can take a toll on your hair, skin, and body, especially when you’re not protecting yourself.
Though the most obvious sign that you’ve been outside for too long is sunburn, overexposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to more than just a few days of discomfort. Over time, sun exposure can result in hair thinning or discoloration, premature aging, fine lines, melasma, and even skin cancer.
When it comes to sun damage, prevention is easier than reversal. However, there are ways to prevent and even repair the sun’s toll on your body. Here are five simple ways you can protect and restore the integrity of your skin and hair this summer.
1. Exfoliate Your Skin
Too much sun exposure can lead to the buildup of dead and discolored skin cells, making your complexion appear blotchy or uneven. Regular exfoliation allows you to remove dead skin cells, deep clean pores, and stimulate the growth of new cells, leaving your skin hydrated and feeling smooth.
It’s also important to exfoliate your scalp, too. Scalp exfoliation can remove excess oil, sweat, and dead skin that may build up in the summer heat. Using an exfoliant in conjunction with hydrating shampoos and conditioners may help accelerate healthier hair growth.
2. Try a Retinol Treatment
Retinol works by stimulating collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also tighten pores, improve complexion, and even out skin pigmentation to reverse visible signs of sun damage.
Retinol-based products in the form of creams, oils, and serums may be purchased over the counter to treat mild sun damage. For more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe skin care products containing retinol to boost collagen production, eliminate wrinkles, and treat hyperpigmentation caused by melasma.
Note: Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun if used incorrectly, so it’s best to incorporate it into your nightly routine.
3. Change Up Your Beauty Routine
As you switch up your wardrobe for the season, you’ll also want to make adjustments to your beauty routine. In the sunnier months, you are more prone to sun damage, so you may want to add a daily SPF facial, hand, and body moisturizer to your regimen.
Saltwater, chlorine, and sun exposure can also strip your hair of its integrity. During the summer, consider ditching your hot tools and using UV-protectant hair oils and sprays to strengthen your strands and prevent further damage.
In addition, keep in mind that certain products can exacerbate sun damage and increase photosensitivity. Consult with your dermatologist, and be cautious when using beauty products that contain active ingredients that may increase sun sensitivity, such as alpha-hydroxy acids, retinol, and hydroquinone.
You should also be mindful of beauty products and treatments that may react negatively to sun exposure, such as laser hair removal, chemical peels, hair sprays, and certain acne medications.
4. Consume Antioxidants
Exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays stimulates the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells and slow down the production of collagen. And while some free radicals are important for your health, too many can lead to long-term cell and tissue damage.
Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E are all antioxidants that help reduce discoloration and premature aging by speeding up hair growth and your skin’s repair system. Incorporating antioxidant-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, avocados, and blueberries, into your diet may help restore the health of your hair and skin after prolonged sun exposure and prevent future damage.
5. Wear Sunscreen Correctly
Sun-induced damage to your skin accumulates over time, which can lead to premature skin aging and the appearance of fine lines. That’s why it’s important to wear sunscreen whenever you spend time outside. To ensure optimal sun protection, consider applying water-resistant sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside and reapplying every two hours. Be sure to apply a generous amount to any exposed area of your body, and wear an SPF of at least 30, which filters out 97% of harmful UVB rays.
The sun’s UV rays can also strip color from your hair or make it dry and frayed. Fortunately, like your skin, there are ways you can protect your hair from the adverse effects of sun exposure. Try using a hair mask or spray containing SPF to shield your hair from the sun’s harmful rays.
It’s impossible to reverse all signs of sun damage. However, there are ways you can repair and reverse the consequences of sun exposure and preventative steps you can take to prevent future damage. With these tips, you can keep your hair and skin looking healthy and vibrant all summer long. For more on beauty, make sure to check out this tab! Until next time, friends.