THE SUN AND OUR SKIN
Lounging by the pool, strolling through the park, or running into the waves – the moment the Sun’s warmth and light touches your face, a sense of bliss and peace overwhelms you. Summer sun leaves your skin with that longed-for sunkissed glow. While we may want to take every opportunity to soak it all in, think twice before you slather on the baby oil and spray that Sun-in (remember those days?!) even that sunkissed glow can be dangerous, as most of us all know.
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
UVA rays, commonly referred to as “aging rays,” reach the deepest layer of skin, weakening the skin’s support structure causing wrinkles, sun spots, and sagging. Present all day, every day, these rays can even penetrate clouds and glass.
UVB rays primarily burn skin and directly interact with DNA, playing a key role in skin cancer. Think a base tan keeps you safe? This darkening provides some protection against sunburn, but it is no defense against long-term UV damage. Minimize your exposure by trying to avoid the peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm.
The list of harmful effects are endless - skin cancer, diminished immunity to infection, sunburn, sun spots, sun poisoning, dehydration, premature aging. The bottom line: Sun exposure disrupts your skin's barrier function, it damages collagen, elastin, and DNA, and it also interferes with the skin's ability to maintain hydration.
HOW DO I PREVENT SUN DAMAGE?
When the sun, and its harmful rays, seem to be able to find you anywhere (even the reflection from your smart phone can increase exposure to UV radiation), sunscreen is your first defense. We like Suntegrity’s Mineral Sunscreen – unscented, vegan, and offers broad-spectrum protection.
Amp Up Your Style with a Hat -
Though it’s a great place to start, sunscreen alone isn’t enough. Cover up à la porcelain-skinned Nicole Kidman and seek out shade. Add a bit of style and protection to your summer look, by wearing a hat. Eugenia Kim’s elegant accessories are a must have during these hot summer months.
Bring Your Own Hydration Station -
Carrying a designer water bottle isn’t just a millennial status symbol, hydration is key in your battle against sun damage. A tried and true go-to, the Beauty Gem Water Bottle by VitaJuwel, is the perfect answer to dehydration caused by harsh sunlight, nurturing beauty from within while providing much needed H20. Added bonus, your water will be enlivened and restructured by the natural vibration of healing gemstones.
CAN I REPAIR MY SKIN FROM SUN DAMAGE?
Food Rich in Antioxidants and Fatty Acids -
Though sun damage is frighteningly real, there is hope to repair your skin. Begin by nourishing from within. Fill your diet with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, like walnuts, chia seeds, and fish; these anti-inflammatories help maintain your skin’s integrity. Get your fill of summer favorites such as watermelon and blueberries; two important antioxidants become the sun damage dream team because they help block the effects of free radicals which break down collagen and elasticity.
Keep Skin Hydrated -
While we know dry skin is damaged skin, the opposite is also true - well-hydrated skin not only looks and feels healthier; it’s also less vulnerable to breaking down in the face of environmental assaults. After a long day in the sun, the VAYU Illuminating Toning mist, packed with Aloe and Cucumber, is a soothing and refreshing spritz of liquid hydration. You can also heal skin’s inner and outer layers by applying a rich moisturizer or serum, such as the PRANA Face oil. While delivering immediate nourishment and strengthening the skin’s barrier function, Sandalwood reduces hyperpigmentation and Amla delivers potent antioxidants.
Of course, most of us can use a little more vitamin D, but make sure when you are getting sunshine, it is done safely. Slather on and reapply sunscreen, wear a hat, and hang out in the shade when you can. A tan may seem sexy now, but the damage it does certainly won’t be in 15 years.
Love + Light,