The warm weather is back (finally!) and we’re all looking forward to lazy summer weekends in the sun. But sunshine also brings the risk of sunburn, skin damage and even potential skin cancer. If you make sun protection a routine for your kids now, it will become a habit that follows them into adulthood and can protect them and their skin in the long run.
Skin Care for Moms
Protecting your skin from the sun shouldn’t be a seasonal event. You should be applying sunscreen 365 days of the year, no matter what the weather. In addition to a daily sunscreen, many makeups today also include SPF. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and the number associated represents how many hours of sun are equal to one hour of sun unprotected. It’s a good idea to invest in moisturizer, foundation and powder that all have an SPF factor of at least 20. Apply your moisturizer first thing and follow up with sunscreen, then apply your makeup as usual. You should be re-applying sunscreen frequently throughout the day. Just because a product offers 20 hours of protection for every hour of sun exposure doesn’t mean that the product’s protection lasts that long. I reapply sunscreen before I go out at lunch time and again in the afternoon
Cover Your Eyes
Another good tip to protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun is to wear sunglasses year-round. The skin around your eyes can be very delicate and exposure to UV (ultra-violet) light can harm your eyes. Sun damage has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye conditions. Be sure to purchase a pair of shades that block 100% of UV rays and try to find a pair that is close-fitting to limit the amount of damaging sunlight that reaches your eyes.
Don’t neglect the rest of you when it comes to sun protection. Apply and frequently reapply sunscreen to the exposed skin on your back, chest, arms and legs when you’re wearing summer clothing. Sunlight, dry weather and chlorine can also be very drying to your skin. To combat dry skin, exfoliate when you shower and follow up right after showering with a good moisturizer all over.
Best Foot Forward
The great thing about summer footwear is that it gives your feet a chance to breathe. In tight, covered shoes your feet can perspire and produce bacteria that lead to bad odors. The downside of open footwear is that the skin on our feet can become dry and cracked. It’s a good idea to use a moisturizing foot cream on a regular basis. Dry, cracked heels can be unattractive and make you self conscious about exposing your tootsies, but can be quickly and simply dealt with using products available at your local pharmacy. Gently file the skin on your heels and apply a heel balm and you should start to see an improvement in cracked heels just a few days.
Skin Care for Kids
Young skin is delicate and vulnerable so take these precautions to keep your little ones safe.
Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen!
Maintain this simple routine when they’re young and you’ll be doing your kids a huge favor by protecting them from skin cancer later in life. When it comes to kids’ sunscreen, aim for an SPF of 30 to 50. Although higher SPFs are available, experts feel the difference in protection is negligible and since you should be reapplying constantly throughout the day anyway, 30 to 50 should be sufficient. Buy a water-proof sunscreen even if you aren’t going in the water, as kids can work up a real sweat in the summer. Some sunscreens for kids come in easy-to-apply forms such as gels or foams, which are less likely to get in little eyes and mouths.
Keep Your Hat On
Young kids have thinner hair than us and even the skin on the top of their heads can burn in the sun. Make sure to stress to young ones the importance of wearing a hat every day, preferably with a wide brim.
The less skin that is exposed to the sun, the less risk there is of sunburn. Keep your kids covered, preferably in bright colors that don’t let the sun’s rays through. Some kids’ bathing suits these days resemble wetsuits – they’re made of lightweight, breathable fabric and keep kids arms and legs covered and protected. Babies should be kept in lightweight clothing that fully covers their arms and legs.
Stay Out of the Sun
10am to 4pm is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest it’s best to avoid direct sunlight entirely at this time of day. Stay indoors, or keep cool in the shade under a beach umbrella.
Made in the Shades
While kids might like donning sunglasses strictly for the coolness factor, it’s also important to protect your kids’ eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. Wraparound sunglasses stay on better, and you can find shades with UV protection for kids of all ages.