It’s no secret that the outdoors can be tough on your skin. From the sun’s harmful UV rays to the drying effects of wind and water, there are a lot of elements working against you when you’re trying to maintain healthy skin. But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to life indoors! With a little know-how and the right products, you can keep your skin happy while enjoying all the activities summer has to offer. Here are a few tips:
Choose the Right Sunscreen
When it comes to sun protection, not all sunscreens are created equal. If you want to keep your skin happy outdoors, you need to find a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause premature aging and wrinkles since they penetrate deeper layers of the skin. In contrast, UVB rays cause sunburns. Look for “broad-spectrum” sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Make sure that you reapply often — this is a minimum of every two hours, or every hour if you’re taking in a dip in the pool or doing vigorous activities that make you sweat. If you plan to spend a lot of time outside, like an hour or more, use SPF 50. If you spend almost every day outside for several hours, you should use SPF 60. Some of the best sunscreens you can use for outdoor activities are Aveeno Protect + Hydrate SPF 60 and Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50, priced $10 and $22 respectively for a 2-ounce tube. These two provide a good protective layer against UV rays and moisturize your skin at the same time. You can also opt for those with bug-repellent ingredients if you’re going somewhere with lots of bugs, like on mountain trails. Generally, it is better to use separate products for that, however. Don’t forget to apply lip balm with SPF to protect your lips, too! A good one you can use is Elta MD UV Lip Balm with SPF 36, costing only around $13 for a small tube.
If you have dry skin, the outdoors can be downright painful. Wind and sun can strip moisture from your skin, leaving it feeling tight, itchy, and irritated. To combat this, moisturize often—at least once a day, and more if necessary. Choose a light lotion or cream since heavy ointments can clog pores and lead to breakouts. You also want something that does not feel heavy on the skin if you’re going to do a lot of outdoor activities.
As for when you should use it, you should apply moisturizer after bathing while your skin is still damp to seal in moisture. Some sunscreens have moisturizer, too, but it’s best to use a separate moisturizer — after all, it was formulated to that job best.
Consider Your Clothing
What you wear outdoors can also have an impact on your skin—especially if you have sensitive skin. Certain fabrics like wool or polyester can irritate your skin, so stick to natural fabrics like cotton whenever possible. Try out fabrics made out of cotton, cashmere, silk, linen, or hemp. If you want synthetic fabrics, try to get those that have moisture-wicking technology. And don’t forget about laundry detergent! Many brands contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin, so opt for a gentler detergent made for sensitive skin. You might also consider washing new clothing items before wearing them for the first time to help remove any irritants from the fabric.
When outside, make sure you cover as much skin as possible if you have sensitive skin. Not only does this help keep your skin from getting fried by UV rays, but it also helps in keeping you cool. Lightly colored clothes can reflect more light, so they don’t retain as much heat as darker clothes.
Control Your Environment
If you’re looking for ways to make shade in your backyard, there are a few options to consider. A simple canopy or umbrella can provide some much-needed relief from the sun, and if you have a deck or patio, you can install a retractable awning for even more coverage. If you want to get creative, you could also build a pergola or gazebo to provide some extra shade. And don’t forget about trees! A large tree can provide plenty of shade on a hot day. Trees make your surroundings feel cooler too — they take in a lot of carbon dioxide from the air.
Apart from these, if you have a pool, another thing you can do to make it skin-friendly is to have an organic PH control system. Bathing in water that is too basic or acidic can irritate or dry out your skin. With a pool ph balance maintenance system, you can soak as much as you like without the water sapping the moisture out of your skin.
By following these simple tips, you can enjoy all the outdoor activities summer has to offer without putting your skin at risk. So get out there—your happy skin will thank you!