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By: John Adams, author of, LinkedIn Changemaker, and dad of two young daughters
Posted on: Jun 22, 2021

Summer skincare: What you need to know

Getting outside and soaking up the sun is crucial for mental and physical well-being, but many people skip simple skincare steps before they venture out into the sun. Read on to learn about the proper skincare needed to stay safe in the sun during the summer months!

As we near the summer months, it’s important to think about your skin. Our skin is the largest organ our bodies have and it protects us from the elements. It’s easy to go on vacation and focus on relaxation but in warmer weather, looking after your skin and avoiding sunburn should be top a priority.

That said, there’s more to summer skincare than simply slapping on sunscreen. Here are some tips for keeping you and your family’s skin healthy and hydrated this summer.

What you need to know about sunscreen

Sunscreen protects the skin from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Exposure to UVA and UVB radiation can cause sunburn, prematurely ages the skin and can cause skin cancer.

When buying sunscreen, there are two things you want to look at. Firstly, there’s the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which protects you from UVB radiation. This will be represented as a number between 1 and 50 with 50 providing the greatest protection. It’s generally not recommended using a sunscreen with an SPF rating of less than 30.

The second thing you should consider is the UVA rating. This is given as a rating out of five stars. It’s generally not recommended you use anything with less than four stars.

Applying sunscreen

The experts will tell you that most people do not apply enough sunscreen. Two teaspoons full is about enough to cover your heard, shoulders and neck. Two tablespoons is about enough to cover your entire body if wearing a swimming costume.

A lot of people overlook the fact sunscreen should be applied twice. It should be applied about 30 minutes before you go outside and a second time immediately before you go head outdoors. Why should you put it on 30 minutes before stepping outside? This gives it time to bind to your skin.

You should also re-apply sunscreen at least every two hours. If you’ve been swimming, you should reapply as soon as you are out of the water, even if its water resistant.

What activities will you be undertaking?

When the sun comes out, most people can’t wait to get to the swimming pool, beach or the riverside. If you’re going to be swimming or kayaking or doing something like that, be sure to apply lots of sunscreen. Remember, the sun’s rays can be reflected off the water so even if the water cools you down, you are still at risk of getting sunburn.

If you’re staying on dry land, think about the clothing you are wearing. Wide brimmed hats and linen tops or trousers will keep you cool while also protecting you from the sun.

In fact, Simms has produced a Microban-treated hoody called the Intruder Fishing Hoody that’s ideal for summer. While designed for anyone keen on fishing, it can be worn while walking or cycling. It has a specially knit hood to protect your head from the sun’s rays, while the inclusion of Microban will limit bacterial growth and prolong the life of the garment.

What about children?

Children have more sensitive skin than adults. Infants under the age of six months should be kept out of direct sunlight altogether.It’s advised that children stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. Children should also use sunscreen of at least SPF 30. If you want to know about children and the importance of using sunscreen, this blog from the University of Michigan is a great place to start.

Other points to remember

Do you have moles of freckles? If so, you have a higher than average chance of developing skin cancer. You may want to consider applying sun bloc to any moles and regardless, should use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen.

Do also look out for any changes to your moles or freckles or any new ones. If this happens, consult with a doctor as soon as you possibly can.

Are you bald or have thinning hair? Now is the time to invest in a hat.

Don’t be fooled by overcast days. Hotter, sunnier and bright conditions may result in greater exposure to UV rays, but they can still penetrate clouds. For this reason, you should use sunscreen on overcast days.

If you’re in a cold location you should still use sunscreen. Not only are you exposed to direct sunlight, but it can reflect off the ice. Remember, at both the top of North American and bottom of South America where it’s cold and covered with ice, there are holes in the ozone layer. In these locations sunscreen is absolutely essential.

Enjoy the summer months

After the past 18 months, we all deserve some time relaxing. I hope you have an amazing summer vacation. It’ll be all the better if you look after your skin and avoid sunburn.