Despite all the famed health consciousness that permeates society, all too often people neglect the most important part of their body, their skin. The skin keeps everything else together, literally, and needs to be taken care of just as one would take care of the rest of their body. Protecting the skin from sun damage is not as simple as just staying in the shade anymore. Ultraviolet rays still permeate the shadows. Same goes for cloudy days. Some research has suggested that as much as 80% of the ultraviolet rays still come through the clouds. The ultraviolet rays also reflect off of sand and snow, so being careful during the winter is also important.
This does not mean people have to stay indoors to keep their skin healthy. The best way of protecting the skin from sun damage is by learning the best methods for prevention of this damage. With the proper sun protection the outdoors can be enjoyed without limit. Despite these words it should first be noted that the midday sun beams the highest radiation content on the earth. Between 10am and 2pm have the strongest and most damaging ultraviolet rays. It is a good idea to avoid direct sunlight during these hours. If this is not possible, use a lot of sun block, wear long sleeves and wear a brimmed hat to keep things shady.
Using moisturizer lotions with SPF grade can help to prevent minor cumulative damage during every day life. Certainly most people put on sun block when they go to the beach or to the pool, but every day the sun pours down upon the earth. Every little bit of accumulation damages just a little. This cumulative damage will lead to aging skin and eventually wrinkles. Using moisturizer is a good idea anyway, but using moisturizer with an SPF ingredient is better. SPF 15 is sufficient usually, but SPF 30 will take care of the skin more effectively.
It is imperative that all exposed skin should be covered with sun block. People typically focus on the arms, shoulders and back. This is good, but there needs to be more coverage. All exposed areas of the face (basically the whole face) should be covered: the nose, the ears, the forehead, the cheeks, the neck and if one is bald or has a shaved head it should be covered too. Lip balm with SPF protection should also be utilized. This sunscreen should be applied evenly all over the skin as per the instructions of the bottle. This will provide the best ultraviolet protection possible. It takes about one ounce of SPF sun screen to cover the body of the average adult.
For makeup wearers, there is foundation with SPF protection. Whether the makeup wearer chooses synthetic or natural products, both are available with SPF ingredients. Using an SPF foundation after using an SPF moisturizer can give double protection. This is especially true if the user has sensitive skin. Skin that is easily irritated can be protected with mineral makeup. Sensitive skin can benefit from the double protection provided by the moisturizer mixed with the foundation. Mineral makeup provides protection from ultraviolet rays without inflaming the skin and causing irritation or break outs. Making sure to clean the makeup off after the day is over will help exfoliate the skin and make it more viable when applying the SPF moisturizer the next day.
The eyes are a sensitive part of the body and highly susceptible to sun damage. Keeping this area protected should be a high priority. Getting sunscreen in the eyes is not recommended as it causes irritation and a general feeling of anger. Using a sunscreen stick or a mineral makeup powder can protect the area around the eyes with less of a chance of irritation. This area of the body is the most prone to developing fine lines and further exposing signs of aging. The precise applicator of sunscreen sticks means the user will be less likely to get sunscreen in the eye. This thin skin needs the extra protection.
Prevention is certainly the best tactic to take, but sometimes sun damage cannot be avoided. Therefore it is necessary to have a plan to deal with sun damage to lessen the potential for permanent skin issues. This is not just a cosmetic consideration, but a health related issue. Damage accumulated over the years can lead the occurrence of skin cancer. This damage is held on by the skin cells beneath the surface and never really goes away. If general care is taken to avoid too much sun exposure issues will be generally minor, but in the cases where there is damage there are courses of action that can be taken.
While sun damage cannot be fully undone, pain can be eased. Complexion can be corrected to look healthy again and generally this does not take a long time to do naturally. The steps necessary to prevent future sunburns involving SPF lotions can help prevent melanoma (skin cancer). The best thing to do is use a natural lotion or sun block with SPF 30 or higher every time an outdoor adventure is planned. If there is knowledge that the trip will take longer than a few hours a higher SPF should be used. Also, reapply this cream after a few hours because sweating will typically cause the lotion to drip off.
Dealing with sunburn now is a big preoccupation. For some, the sunburn does not start hurting until after leaving the sun. For others the burn starts to hurt as soon as the burn is present. For others, the burn does not start to hurt until two or three days later when everything begins itching. If it is an immediately painful burn, aspirin is a good start to ease the pain. Putting a cool, damp cloth over the area will extinguish the burning feeling form the burned area. Taking a bath or shower with warm (not cold and not hot) water will help to hydrate the area and diminish the burning feeling.
Using an aloe based gel will reduce inflammation. When the skin is not tender to the touch other herbal skin care products can be used to counteract the effects of the burn. The key is to hydrate the area since the burn is basically caused because the ultraviolet radiation draws all the hydration from an area of the skin and makes it dry, brittle and painful. Drinking a lot of fluids will help the body hydrate from the inside while the lotions and herbal care products work on the outside. Attacking sunburn with products which hydrate and moisturize is the best defense against lasting damage from a sun damage.