Before enjoying the summer beach or pool, do not dismiss the importance of protecting your skin from the sun. The sun emits dangerous ultraviolet rays that damage your skin. It can either prematurely wrinkle your skin or risk it developing a deadly form of skin cancer. On the other hand, the sun is a good source of vitamin D. Though it is good to be exposed to it for a time, the worst hours of sun exposure are between 10am and 4pm. This is when its ultraviolet rays are strongest.
Sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. You should use sunscreen before going out walking or swimming. If you are fair skinned, you can use a sunscreen with SPF factor of 15 and higher. If you are dark skinned, the higher SPF factor is better suited for you. Here are some helpful steps on how to apply your sunscreen before dipping in the water:
Shake the bottle. If you prefer getting a bottled or spray sunscreen, it is best to shake the container first before applying. Shaking it would mix the ingredients properly, especially if it builds up particles in the bottom. For sunscreen creams, this step is not necessary.
Take time. Your sunscreen application should be 30 minutes before swimming. This will give the product ample time to settle on your skin. Since the sunscreen has already penetrated your skin, contact with the water will not remove it. When the sunscreen instructions say, “apply liberally,” it means not sparingly. Don’t limit in applying the sunscreen to get the full benefits of its protection.
Start on your face. Put some sunscreen on your fingertips and gently dub it throughout your face. Smooth-in the sunscreen evenly covering all parts. Do not forget to apply sunscreen on ears and back of neck. When applying sunscreen around your eyes, be sure to apply only a thin layer since the skin around your eyes is fragile and can easily react on the sunscreen’s ingredients. Be careful not to smear sunscreen into your eyes. If you accidentally did, flush it out with water and seek medical attention.
Apply on the rest of your body. Rub sparingly sunscreen over your arms, legs and your body. Some people only apply sunscreen on body parts they think are the only ones exposed but it is also important to include your feet, hands and knees. For areas that you cannot reach like the back of your torso, ask someone to help you with it. Even if your swimsuit is covering your skin, it is always important to include those parts with the sunscreen application.
Reapplication. After 2 or 4 hours of swimming, reapply your sunscreen. Even if the label of the product says it is waterproof, the effectiveness of the sunscreen only lasts up to 80 minutes when in contact with water.
Swimming is a great family or friends’ activity. If you want to enjoy its full benefits without the worry of wrinkling your skin or developing a disease, the sunscreen is your ultimate protector. Our sun’s ultraviolet rays stay the same strength and not using protection is not an option. It should always be a part of your daily routine, be it swimming or just going out in the sun.