Time flies when you’re having fun under the sun. Whether you’re running, cycling, swimming, working out, camping, hiking, or simply strolling in the park with your dog or enjoying backyard games for BBQ parties – you may forget to prep your skin first for all the time you’re going to spend under harsh sunlight. Between all the heat, sunburns, and bug bites, being outdoors can cause damage if you don’t take care of your skin.
Keep your skin healthy and glowing by taking note of these tips for taking care of your skin when outdoors.
1. Prep your skin.
Are you going on a run? Or are you planning to break a sweat under the sun? Or perhaps you’re attending an outdoor party? It’s better to have less makeup on your skin. While you might not want to be bare-faced, makeup and cosmetics can be occlusive. Sweating is an important function for cooling the body, and you want the pores to be free of debris to ensure that the body can restore equilibrium during high activity. This is why you don’t want to trap your face in layers of makeup during the summer.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time prepping, though. Cleansing your face with a towelette or micellar water can remove much of your makeup. Better yet, avoid wearing heavy makeup and let your skin breathe.
Make sure you’re also taking good care of your skin by using skincare products that are not just appropriate for your skin tone but also good for your skin type.
2. Apply sunscreen liberally.
Sunscreen is not just a must-have for every beach or pool trip, but for every time you’re going to be out in the sun, especially in the summer. The basics of skincare under the sun begin with a sunscreen with a base of SPF 30 or SPF 50 or higher to protect the skin against the sun’s harmful rays. Look for one that is water-resistant, broad-spectrum, and non-comedogenic. SPF only protects against UVB rays (those that cause sunburn), so using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against UVA rays is important as well.
Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your outdoor activity, then re-apply every two hours. If you’re swimming, you have to re-apply it more often. Make sure you don’t forget about hard-to-reach areas and the most neglected parts like the top of our hands, palm, top of our ears, soles, and top of the feet, and lips. For your lips, keep them looking and feeling healthy by applying a balm with SPF.
3. Wear protective clothing.
Beyond the sunscreen, you may also want to consider clothes that can keep your skin protected from prolonged sun exposure. There are clothes with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), which can help lessen the impact of UV rays.
UPF clothing and gear are woven tightly enough to prevent the penetration of ultraviolet light. Back then, these fabrics make clothing heavy and hot, but now, breathable fabrics have been available to cool the body with use. You can find UPF everything, from bodysuits to hats to visors. It’s mostly recommended for doing water-based activities and sports, so you don’t have to worry about re-applying sunscreen frequently.
4. Wear a hat.
Even your scalp needs protection, too. But remember that you will literally need to keep your head cool. A cool head influence comfort during the summer, as the head affects the whole body’s thermal sensation. A summer hat or a simple cap with a visor can help add a layer of protection from the heat.
5. Wear sunglasses.
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, and the visor from a hat does nothing to protect it from the reflective heat of the ground you’re standing on. On hot summer days, pick sunglasses with wide lenses that can shield that vulnerable part of your face.
6. Stay hydrated.
Most people should be consuming eight glasses of water a day. But during the summer months, we tend to sweat more, so we lose more water and need to replace it. This is essential for people who exercise outdoors. When the skin is dehydrated, it can look tired, and wrinkles can appear more noticeable. When going out, always keep a water bottle in hand. Also, bring your handy bottle of moisturizer so you can hydrate from the outside to improve the appearance of your skin whenever you need to.
7. Use aloe vera to reduce sunburns.
If in case you got sunburnt, there are a variety of ways to nurse it at home. After a sunburn, it can be soothing to use a spray or a mist that contains aloe vera to soothe the skin. If you have aloe vera plants at home, the natural gel from the leaf will help a lot as well. If there are blisters, allow them to heal. These blisters can serve as natural bandages to prevent infections.
8. Repel bugs using botanical extracts.
When camping, hiking, or going to an outdoor space surrounded by nature, you risk yourself getting bites from mosquitoes and other bugs. Most of the time, buying a bug spray from your drugstore is enough. But if you’re worried about DEET (diethyltoluamide), which is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents, you can use lemon eucalyptus oil. It’s a great natural alternative to traditional mosquito repellents that are full of chemicals.
9. Relieve itchy skin.
Whether it’s due to pollen or bug bites, the itch is inevitable if you spend lots of time outdoors. Luckily, there’s an easy solution for that. Use topical products with chamomile and green tea, as these have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation and irritation while calming and soothing the skin.
10. Cool down and cleanse.
Once you get home, there’s nothing better than taking a cool shower after being out all day under the sun. Sweat is actually good for the skin as it helps clear and open the pores, but if it’s left to crystallize on the surface, it can block pores leading to acne and breakouts. So once you have rested enough, take a cool bath or shower to remove sweat and bring your body to baseline temperature.
Towelettes can work quickly, but they don’t offer quite a deep clean like face and body cleansers. If you don’t have the luxury of time or energy left for a full shower, at least wash your face at the sink when you get home. Never ever sleep with your face makeup or sunscreen still on. After cleansing, apply moisturizer to help reduce the damage caused by UV exposure.