7 ways to protect your skin from the sun and UV rays

Hands up if you enjoy spending time outside. Playing in the park with your kids. Barbecuing in the garden with your friends. Swimming in the ocean. Ah, summer is so much fun!

I, for one, am determined to make the most of this beautiful summer weather without ruining my skin. The sun ain’t as friendly as it looks but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to enjoy its warmth and not end up with wrinkles, dark spots or cancer.

You’ve guessed it, I swear by sunscreen. But that’s not the only tool in our stash, ladies. Here are 7 ways to protect your skin from sun damage:

1. Wear Sunscreen Every Single Day

Ok, this was the obvious one. But it bears repeating. You need to put on your sunscreen every single day before you leave the house.

Sunscreen is the most powerful antiaging weapon you have in your arsenal. Use it. Often. Apply it liberally onto all the exposed areas of your body and top it up every couple of hours (or after swimming/sweating).

Pick one that provides broad spectrum protection. It’s ridiculous how many sunscreen still protect you only from UVB rays (hasn’t no one told brands UVA rays are just as dangerous?).

My favourites contain zinc oxide, a white mineral that alone protects against the entire UV range. You can find my fave sunscreens with zinc oxide here.

If you only follow this tip, you’ll age 10x better than all your friends.

Best Picks:

  • EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 ($25.00): available at Dermstore and Walmart
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 50 Sunscreen + WetForce For Sensitive Skin & Children ($42.00):available at  Nordstrom and Ulta
  • Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($34.00): available at Blue Mercury and Dermstore

Related: Why Zinc Oxide Is The Best Sunscreen Ingredient Ever

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2. Wear A Hat

You’re either a hat lover or a hat hater. When it comes to hats, there’s no in between. I get it.

But, are you applying sunscreen on your scalp? Cos that needs sun protection, too. If you don’t remember to apply sunscreen there, a hat is the next best thing.

Plus, a hat is a sun protecting multitasker: it keeps your scalp safe from UV harm AND shields your face, neck and ears from the sun, too.

Hats come in all shapes, sizes and colours these days, so you have no excuses. You’re bound to find something you’ll love.

P.S. If you go for a straw hat, make sure it doesn’t have big holes in it. They let UV rays through, defeating the whole purpose of wearing a hat in the first place. Baseball caps aren’t the best for sun protection either (too small).

3. Wear Sunglasses

You’re probably using a separate eye cream (even if you don’t need it) because you know how delicate the eye area is.

So why not wear sunglasses when you go out? They add an extra layer of protection to keep your peepers safe from sun harm.

The trick is to choose lenses that block at least 98% of UV rays. Yes, those can be expensive but they’ll last you for years. Not to mention all the sun damage they’ll prevent. And the squinting. That causes wrinkles, too.

You’ll be glad you’ve made the investment when those crow’s feet don’t creep up too soon.

4. Wear Lip Products With SPF

Are you sensing a theme here? We’re ensuring that EVERY part of your body is safe from those pesky UV rays.

Like the eyes, the lips are super delicate yet super neglected (at least, when it comes to sun protection). Time to change that, ladies.

Next time you go out, make sure you’re wearing at least one product with SPF. It could be your lipstick. It could be your lipgloss. It could be your lip balm.

It doesn’t matter. Just get that SPF on.

Best Picks:

Related: My Full Review Of Coola Liplux SPF 30 Original

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5. Wear Sun Protective Clothing

No, I’m not suggesting you head to the beach dressed up from head to toe. Summer is a time for skimpy dresses and cute bathing suits, but every now and then it pays to cover up, too.

If the weather allows it, don tops with long sleeves, long skirts and trousers. But, be careful! Not all clothes offer sun protection. Tightly women and dark fabrics are better shields against the sun.

6. Seek The Shade

Yes, it’s fun to be outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time roasting under the blazing sun. When it’s too hot (usually between 10am and 4pm) stay in the shade.

I like to seek shade under a tree but an umbrella does the trick, too. I know it’s weird to stroll around with an umbrella in bright sunlight (unless you’re in Korea – there’s a reason why Korean women age so well, after all), but it’ll keep your skin young and wrinkle-free.

Isn’t that worth it?

7. Avoid Tanning Beds

Let’s get one thing clear: UV rays are UV rays.

They’re not less harmful because you get your fix from tanning beds than the sun itself. Tanning beds cause cancer, wrinkles and dark spots, too.

If you want a tan, get it from a bottle.

Related: A Tan Isn’t Worth Dying For

How do you protect your skin from the sun? Share your tips in the comments below.