Spring break is almost here and this means a flurry of activity in preparation of travel to sunnier states, trips to the beach, and all kinds of outdoor fun. Unfortunately, in the midst of all this excitement, one very important consideration can oftentimes be overlooked. We’re talking, of course, about skin protection!
Sure, it’s oftentimes easier to pay attention to our wardrobes, our waistlines, and our spring break plans than it is to pay attention to our skin. However, skin health is extremely important — a fact that far too many people learn the hard way. So if you’re planning on spending some time in the sun this spring break, read on to learn about how you can keep your skin safe even while having the time of your life.
Why do so many people get sunburned over spring break?
If you’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to come back from spring break with burns, you’re not alone. In fact, sun burns may be even more common during spring break then during the summer months! This is due to a number of factors, including:
● Reduced tolerance for UV light. Since seasons tend to change at least somewhat gradually, the body slowly builds up tolerance for UV rays as winter transitions to spring and then summer. Traveling during spring break, however, can be a very rapid change. This is only enhanced by the fact that most people are either indoors or else bundled up during winter, further reducing wintertime exposure.
● Dry skin. Winter months tend to dry out our skin — which makes us extra susceptible to burns.
● Angle of the sun. The rays of the sun hit the earth more directly in regions that are closer to the equator — which means those traveling to warmer terrain for spring break face an additional threat to their skin.
What to do before traveling for spring break
Here are a few simple steps you can take in the days leading up to your trip in order to prepare yourself for increased UV exposure:
● Change your routine. Any acne product or moisturizer with retinol should be scaled back in the days before spring break travel, as this substance increases sensitivity to the sun. An antioxidant-rich moisturizer is a much better option. Exfoliating a few days before travel is also a good idea, as it removes dead skin, thus adding a natural glow while reducing the risk of breakouts.
● Do not tan! Yes, we talked earlier about tolerance, but tanning beds are never a good idea, not even before a trip! Building up tolerance by spending a bit of time in the sun each day (with sunscreen) is a far healthier and more effective preparation.
● Get your vitamins. Increasing your intake of Omega 3’s, as well as vitamins C and D, can help boost skin health and prepare you for your trip.
Protecting your skin during your trip
Just because your are on vacation doesn’t mean you will be totally without any responsibilities. (At a bare minimum, you should at least still be taking care of yourself — even when eating a drinking a bit too much may be the norm!)
● Use (new) sunscreen. You already know that you should be wearing sunscreen; but did you know that sunscreen’s protective capacities fade with age? Be sure to use sunscreen from this year, and reapply every couple of hours in order to renew protection and avoid burns.
● Avoid exposure during peak hours. 10am through 4pm are generally considered to be peak hours for UV potency. Limiting your exposure during these hours can limit your risk for developing sun damage and/or skin cancer.
● Wear a hat. What an easy way to reduce sun exposure!
● Stay hydrated. Again, a super-easy no-brainer. Moreover, this will help your health in a number of ways beyond simply preventing wrinkles and sun spots.
Upon returning home…
Responding quickly to any sunburns or over-exposure that you do incur is the best way to limit the damage. Here are a few helpful tips:
● Keep your skin moisturized and nourished. Coconut oil is a great product for achieving both of these goals — as is the Mehrabi MD Revitalized Skin Biotherapy PM Moisturizer.
● Exfoliating, or even getting a facial, can help clear your pores from all the sunscreen, moisturizer, and dead skin cells accumulated during your trip.
● Sunspots should be treated immediately with aloe vera, squalane oil, or sandalwood. Additionally, additional sun exposure should be limited for any areas that experienced over-exposure.
As important as sunscreen is, it is important to remember that skin safety and health is more than just SPF protection. Looking to learn more about sun safety and skin protection? Visit www.bhskin.com/blog today!