Phoenix, Arizona is called the Valley of the sun for a reason. With nearly a full year’s calendar worth of sunshine, Phoenix can be one of the most enjoyable places to live from a weather stand point, but one of the worst places to live when it comes to protecting your skin.
Many Arizonans who have lived in the constant sunshine have paid the price with wrinkles, sun damage and sometimes even skin cancer. Due to how severe the repercussions of sun exposure can be, it is important to know the proper steps to take to be proactive, avoiding these skin care problems all together.
You may be able to receive Botox or dermal fillers to reverse fine lines and wrinkles, but it’s difficult to erase decades of skin damage and nearly impossible to reverse the side effects of skin cancer.
This article will tell you the best preventative steps to take when it comes to protecting your skin from sun damage. These steps include:
- Staying in the shade
- Covering up
- Using sunscreen
- Watching out for photosensitivity
- Following a daily skincare routine
Stay in the Shade:
When sunshine is always around you, it can be difficult to avoid. While other states have lots of large trees that provide ample amounts of shady coverage, Arizonans find themselves struggling to seek shelter from the sun. The best thing to do is to stay indoors as often as possible during the sun’s peak hours, typically between 10 am and 2 pm. By staying inside during the hottest part of the day, you are protecting your skin from unnecessary exposure to UV rays.
However, staying inside for that long every day might not always be a realistic option. So other ways to avoid being in direct sunlight involve finding coverage under umbrellas or overhangs that you might find at pools, beaches or any other outdoor areas. Also, avoid sunbathing or any activities that put you in the sun for extended periods of time. The less direct exposure you get from the sun, the better off your skin will be.
It is no secret that there are many situations that will put you in the sun for hours on end. When this is the case, it is important to cover up as much of your skin as possible, while still being comfortable. If you are spending the day at the beach or an afternoon watching your kid’s soccer game, full coverage is the name of the game.
By wearing a hat and sunglasses that protect your face, or a bathing suit cover up that covers your shoulders and stomach, you are less likely to suffer from sunburns. Women can wear maxi dresses that provide full stomach and leg coverage while still staying cool, whereas men can wear linen pants and light weight shirts to cover up as well.
There are many options to choose from when finding clothes that provide you with coverage but also allow you to stay cool in some of the hottest summer months. When it comes to clothing, try looking for pieces that have SPF built into them! These clothing options will be even more protective than your regular everyday attire.
This tip might seem like the most basic part of protecting your skin, but many people forget to put on sunscreen, or forget to reapply throughout the day. This mistake leaves them with bad sunburns and long-term skin damage. When people get badly sunburnt, it usually happens when they leave the house without realizing how much sun exposure their daily activities will give them.
Sometimes even running a few simple errands can leave you with a sunburn. The best practice to follow in order to avoid this situation is to always apply some level of sunscreen on your body before going out for the day. Starting your day off on the right foot with a coating of sunscreen is the safest and smartest choice any Arizonan can make.
When Phoenix reaches its peak temperatures of 110-115 degrees, there is no excuse for forgetting your SPF. It is virtually impossible not to get burnt on days like these, so it’s best to take the proper precautions.
Another mistake people tend to make is forgetting to reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day. If you are spending your day at the lake or by the pool, one application of SPF 50 is simply not enough.
It is important to reapply your sunscreen once every hour or hour and a half, and to do so after you have dried off when your skin is no longer wet. Once you have reapplied, avoid going back in the water until your skin has had time to absorb the sunscreen, usually about 30 minutes.
Watch for Photosensitivity:
Many people who are taking prescription medicines don’t know whether their medication has side effects of photosensitivity or not. Many acne medications or medications that center on skin problems have this side effect, so it is important to understand this information.
In the simplest terms, photosensitivity is an abnormally high sensitivity to sunlight. Most people who are suffering from this are at greater risk of sunburns than the average individual.
For people who are on these particular medications, it is extremely important for them to take extra precautions of avoiding sun exposure and protecting their skin. The aftermath of being sunburnt when you are on these prescriptions is highly painful, resulting in rashes, skin peeling, and eczema like reactions.
Be sure to look at this list of common medications with photosensitivity to know if your medication comes with this side effect.
Daily Skin Care Routine:
Even though it is important to take extra precautions during the peak summer months, it is beneficial to have a daily skin care routine that ensures your skin is healthy and always being protected from potential sun damage.
For both men and women, it is important to wash your face in the morning and at night, moisturizing immediately after. Washing your face in general is a good practice to avoid acne or breakouts, but it also helps to keep your skin healthy in the long run. Moisturizing is also important, especially in Arizona, because your skin needs moisture to keep itself hydrated.
It is important to use a moisturizer with SPF in it to help you take that one extra step of protecting your face from sun damage. Even something as simple as SPF 10 or 15 can make a huge long-term difference in keeping your skin looking young and healthy.
Additionally, for anyone who applies makeup on a daily basis, it is good to have a foundation or cover-up with SPF in it as well. These are usually between SPF 15 and 25, but doing this in addition to applying sunscreen is the key to avoiding sun damage.
Your Best Skin
Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take to avoid sun damage, you end up getting wrinkles or discoloration. If this has happened to you, don’t sweat it! Simple treatments like Botox or dermal fillers can fix these problems with ease, and DreamBody’s convenient Scottsdale location is just the place to do it.
Even though these treatments are always available, it’s good to take those little extra steps to keep your skin as healthy as possible. Regardless of what your particular skin problem may be, taking care of your skin helps keep it hydrated, clear and looking younger than ever.