Guest Post by Jori Hamilton
There’s nothing quite like a day out in the sun. It can boost your mood, give you a much-needed dose of Vitamin D, and offer a burst of energy. But, when it comes to showing signs of aging, the sun is your worst enemy.
It might seem unfair, but the sun can do quite a bit of damage if you don’t protect yourself the right way. From sun spots and wrinkles to an increased risk of cancer, the sun comes with plenty of dangerous drawbacks.
Now that summer is officially here, it’s understandable that you’ll want to spend more time outside soaking up some rays. So, how can you enjoy the beautiful weather without putting yourself in harm’s way?
Thankfully, there are preventative methods you can put in place to stay safe from the sun. These measures will keep your body and skin healthier, especially as you age, so you can enjoy the sunshine for many years to come.
Too much time in the sun isn’t good for anyone. Even people in their teens and 20s can increase their risk of melanoma with too much sun exposure. As you get older, some of those risks increase, and you become more susceptible to skin conditions that can be exacerbated by UV rays. Some of the risks of too much sun exposure include:
When it comes to premature signs of aging, too much time in the sun can do serious damage to your skin. It contributes to wrinkles and sunspots and can make your skin look tight and leathery. If you were to compare two people of the same age, you would likely notice differences in their appearances based on how much time each spent in the sun.
The sun triggers 80% of skin aging thanks to its harmful UV rays. It causes your skin to dry out, enlarges your pores, and can lead to pigmentation changes. If you’re trying to keep up a “youthful glow,” it certainly isn’t your best friend. Cutting back your time spent in the sun is one of the best ways to prevent this damage. But, if you love being outside, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
The best way to stay safe is to protect yourself from too much exposure. That starts with wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply it every hour or so that you’re spending outside. You want to make sure any area of exposed skin will be completely covered.
Additionally, plan out your exposure. The sun’s UV rays are strongest each day between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. If you can get your outdoor activities done before or after those hours, you’ll decrease your risk of damage. If you have to be outside during that time, make sure to take frequent breaks and step back indoors. This will keep you from overheating, but it will also give your skin a break from the rays beating down.
If you’re being cautious about spending too much time outside, consider finding ways around it. Hire someone to do your yard work or landscaping. Or, take advantage of new technology. Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to automate the outdoors. From smart gardening and lawn care to smart irrigation systems, you can have things installed to limit the time you have to spend directly in the sun.
When you do spend time in the sun, your protective measures shouldn’t end when you get inside. Consider using an after-sun soothing spray to provide cooling relief on your skin and avoid irritation.
An additional skincare step you can take to prevent signs of aging due to the sun is to incorporate a vitamin C serum into your daily routine. Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen and lightens any dark spots you might already have. Using a high quality moisturizer is also an essential step of every morning and evening skincare routine to prevent fine lines from forming. Both vitamin C and moisturizing also create a dewy glow that can make anyone look more youthful!
Spending too much time in the sun can weaken your immune system. As you get older, you’re already at a greater risk for illnesses and conditions like:
Having a strong immune system and a healthy heart will help you to ward off some of these conditions. Thankfully, you can combine your time spent outside with staying healthy so you’ll get the best of both worlds.
For example, working out in nature is one of the best ways to stay fit. It also can reduce your stress levels, give you more energy, and improve your mood. Even things like gardening can give you some sun and promote self-care all at once.
Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated are important parts of taking care of your immune system. Spending time outside requires you to drink even more. One of the symptoms of dehydration is tight or sunken skin, which can make you look older and weak. Seniors can sometimes have a hard time staying fully hydrated because their body’s ability to reserve fluid declines with age. Bring water with you at all times when you’re involved in outdoor activities to protect your skin and your body.
You don’t have to completely avoid the sun this summer. Get out and enjoy it as much as possible. But, make sure you’re taking the right precautions to keep yourself safe and protected. Doing so will help to prevent aging and will keep you happy and healthy all season long.