How to Prevent Sunburn

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Sunburn ruins vacations. No one enjoys their beach vacation being cut short or having to sit on the beach in a cover-up because their skin is so burned any kind of sun exposure hurts. Use these tips to help prevent and protect your skin against sun damage this summer.

Prevent

Some people believe that sunscreen prevents tanning, so they opt out of wearing it to achieve maximum tan potential.  This is a misconception: SPF only prevents you from getting burned, it doesn’t mean you won’t get tan in the process. So skip the tanning oil and lather on the sunscreen (SPF 30) instead.

Sunscreen will minimize the damage of prolonged sun exposure. Make sure when buying sunscreen that you get an SPF that protects from both UVA and UVB rays to ensure maximum skin protection.  

While you makeup may have SPF in it, it’s usually not effective enough. Instead, buy a sunscreen that is specifically made for facial application. This means it will feel more like a light moisturizer and not be greasy, but it will still protect your sensitive face from the sun.

Remember to apply your sunscreen about a half an hour before you plan on going to the beach or spending time in the sun. Reapply every few hours and after you come out of the ocean or pool.

Protect

Even though sunscreen has been applied, if you are not vigilant about reapplication your skin may not be fully protected throughout the day. There are other ways to ensure that your skin stays safe and protected in the summer sun.

Wearing a hat can decrease your face’s exposure to sunlight which can help you avoid a burn.  If you wear a wide-brim sun hat your shoulders and arms can even be more protected.

Take a cool break in doors every two hours or so to try and limit the amount of hours you are in the sun at a time. If you’re at a beach take a walk back to your house or hotel for a cool drink and air conditioning and reapply your sunscreen. If you’re just visiting and have nowhere to go, take a walk under the shaded awnings and air conditioned stores on the boardwalk to cool off your skin and the rest of your body.  

Heal

It is important to take care of your skin at the end of the day too regardless of whether or not you got sunburned. If despite all your diligence, you still got a little burned use aloe vera to soothe your skin until it heals. If you didn’t get sunburned, you should still moisturize your skin because after a long day in the sun your skin will have become dehydrated and dry.

Taking care of your skin in the summer requires you to be more conscientious than usual, but if you take the precautions necessary to prevent, protect, and heal your skin for a healthier and happier body.

Our Writers

Carolyn is a sophomore at Loyola University Maryland majoring in Communication with a specialization in Journalism and a minor in Writing. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis and going on runs. She can always be found writing at the nearest Starbucks.

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