We all have that one friend who's too cool for sunscreen because they "never" burn and are just looking for that summer tan. (note: if you don't have that friend, you might be that friend).
It's okay--we get it. It seems like lathering up the sunscreen when you're ready for a day outside is the last thing on the brain. But with the summer season finally upon us and more time is spent in the hot sun, we cannot overstate the importance of caring for your skin! Trust us when we say that not only your skin, but your mind and body will thank you for it in the long run!
So, why should we care? Your skin is your body's largest organ--so it's no surprise that it plays a huge role in our overall health. Here are some of the ways in which it's important (the following information is gathered from NIAMS):
It serves a barrier to harmful microbes and bacteria--aka it helps us get sick less! WOO!
It helps to control our body's temperature
It holds fluids that help to decrease chances of dehydration
It's home to nerves that help us feel and sense things around us! Hence why we aren't sticking our hands on the hot stove top.
It produces Vitamin D with the help of the sun! Vitamin D is important bone health!
As you can see, in order for our body to function internally, we must take care of how we treat ourselves externally. Stated by NIH's article "Sun and Skin," extreme/excessive exposure can damage our skins process of cell regeneration and growth, which in the long run can impact skin elasticity, the underlying protective tissue, and can even increase the risk for skin cancer. As of 2014, there were 2 million people treated annually for skin cancer. And while younger skin tends to have a quicker repair system for cells, it is still not immune to contracting skin cancer or any other long term effects of sun exposure (NIH).
But of course, we don't want to scare you from spending these warm summer days in the sunshine--remember, we need quality Vitamin D! However, we're here to give you some tips and tricks to keep your skin thriving this summer:
Sunscreen. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Say it until it sticks! This is our number one tip for healthy summer skin. Using a natural, non toxic sunscreen (Badger and Beauty Counter are our recommendations) can be a crucial step to avoiding excessive UV ray absorption. Aim for at least 30 SPF, but keep it under 50 SPF. There is actually little evidence that SPF levels higher than 50 work bet
Drink water! This is one of the golden rules of health. It is important for a multitude of reasons, but in this case it can help keep the skin hydrated, detoxed, and properly functioning.
Dry brush. Dry brushing a great way to detox the body and remove dead skin cells that may be sitting on the skins surface. This is always best to do right before a shower.
Adjust your wardrobe. If you know you're going to be spending a significant amount of time outside, we might suggest wearing large floppy sun hats. It'll minimize your exposure and it's a total fashion go-to.
Know when the sun is strongest. The sun has the most direct impact from 10-2. If you can try to seek more shade during those hours it may be beneficial. Of course, we understand this is not always an option, so wearing light, long sleeves and sunscreen is a good alternative.