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The Best Tips for Preparing Your Skin for Sun Exposure

3 mins

Patricia Davis

Long-term exposure to the sun can have skin-aging and life-threatening consequences. Here's how you can protect yourself before, during, and after sun exposure.

Are you planning to go out in the sun? Did you know a few minutes of sun exposure is all it takes to affect your skin? Think about what a few hours on the beach on a sunny day can do to your skin!

Fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin (loss of skin elasticity), suntan, and sunburn are some harmful effects of UV light. 

But we all need a bit of sun exposure to get that much-needed vitamin D. We can't afford to be holed up indoors fearing the ill effects of the sun on our skin. Thankfully, there are many steps we can take to protect our skin before exposing it to the sun. Here are the best tips for getting ready for some time in the sun.

Table of Contents:

  • Before Going Out in the Sun
  • During Sun Exposure
  • Cover Up
  • Wear a Hat
  • Wear Sunglasses
  • Stand Under the Shade
  • After-Sun Care
  • Medications
  • Creams and Moisturizers

    Before Going Out in the Sun

    It all starts 20 minutes before you head out into the sun – this is the most crucial part of your pre-sun exposure preparation.

    • Use Sunscreen

    Sunscreen is one of your best defenses against UVA light. The quality and the quantity of sunscreen are critical factors for sun protection. Sunscreen must be applied between 15 and 30 minutes before stepping outdoors – even on cloudy or overcast days. Here are some tips on using sunscreen:

    1. Choose a sunscreen that offers excellent UV protection.
    2. Your sunscreen's Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is critical. The sun protection factor lets you know how long it would take for your skin to get red when out in the sun versus the amount of time without the product. So, if your sunscreen's SPF is 20, it will take your skin 20 times longer to burn than if you were not using that sunscreen.
    3. A higher SPF will provide you with more extended protection.
      Choosing a sunscreen, how to prevent sunburn
    4. Read the label's information carefully on how to use it, how long before sun exposure to apply, and when to reapply the product.
    5. Ensure the sunscreen is well within its expiry date.
    6. Reapply sunscreen every two hours if you are going to be out for more extended periods.
    7. Apply sunscreen liberally. An ounce or a palmful is good enough, but if you need to cover more area, don't be afraid to use more.
    8. Beware that it's easy to forget to use sunscreen on your lips, behind your neck and ears, and behind your knees.
    9. Lip balms with sunscreen protection offer excellent moisture and sun protection.
      lips care, moisturized lips
    • Check Your Medications

    Some medications tend to make the skin sensitive to the sun – this is especially true with acne medications and antibiotics. If you are on any daily medications, you can check with your pharmacist regarding your medication's sun sensitivity.

    During Sun Exposure

    There are some extra steps you can take during your time out in the sun:

    • Cover Up

    Even the best sunscreen does not guarantee 100% protection. A light cover-up like a loose shirt or kaftan can provide extra sun protection. Ensure the protective clothing covers as much of your skin as possible. 

    Today you can even buy ready-made clothes with an inbuilt sun protection factor. For clothing to be genuinely protective and effective, you should not be able to see the light pass through them.

    • Wear a Hat

    Yes, a hat – not a cap - for protection around your neck and years. Straw hats look stylish and are excellent for short periods in the sun. But their loose weave can let sunlight through — therefore, they are not recommended for several hours in the sun.

    how to prevent your scalp from sun exposure, wearing a hat, girl with a hat
    • Wear Sunglasses

    The areas around the eyes are delicate and prone to wrinkles and crow's feet. Sunglasses protect your eyes and the areas around your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. 

    But not all sunglasses offer protection against UV light. You would do very well with a pair of sunglasses with large frames and UV-protection coated lenses, as these provide the best protection.

    • Stand Under the Shade

    When the sun's rays are at their strongest — when it is right over your head – you will need the most protection. Staying out of the sun's direct rays in the shade can give your skin more protection. Even standing under a shady tree or umbrella can get you away from the direct sun.

    girl in shade

    After-Sun Care

    Sometimes, even with all the care you take, and no matter how well you protect yourself, the sun can still damage your skin. Immediate signs of skin damage are dark spots, sunburn, and tanning, and the long-term side effect is premature signs of aging.

    • Medications

    Medications and anti-inflammatory creams can soothe and heal painful sunburn and suntan.

    • Creams and Moisturizers

    Gentle creams with healing properties can help heal and protect the skin from signs of aging caused by the sun. WOW Skin Science Multi-Vitamin Face Cream can help neutralize free radicals that damage the skin. 

    aloe vera face cream, face cream to protect skin from the sun

    The cream contains aloe vera extracts that nourish and hydrate the skin and omega-3 fatty acid-rich shea butter that calms the skin and repairs signs of damage. Niacinamide and D-Panthenol restore the skin's cellular structure, while Moroccan argan and sweet almond oil improve the skin's texture and provide nourishment and moisture.

    Gentle moisturizers and creams can help soothe the skin after a day in the sun. WOW Skin Science has a wide range of gentle plant-based moisturizers and body butters loaded with healing, soothing, and moisturizing properties – perfect for after-sun use.

    The UV light can cause a wide range of skin-aging conditions like crow's feet, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Sun protection steps before, during, and after sun exposure can protect your skin from the skin-damaging effects of the sun.

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    Patricia Davis

    If you are searching for the right guidance for beauty and wellness products, then Patricia Davis is the person to follow. She has been making people more aware of beauty, wellness, and health products, with her regular posts, product reviews, and more. Her domain expertise, obtained through years of work as a beauty magazine editor, helps immensely.

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    Patricia Davis

    If you are searching for the right guidance for beauty and wellness products, then Patricia Davis is the person to follow. She has been making people more aware of beauty, wellness, and health products, with her regular posts, product reviews, and more. Her domain expertise, obtained through years of work as a beauty magazine editor, helps immensely.
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