After months of chilly weather, staying under the sun for hours to get your summer tan sounds very tempting. However, tan is temporary; skin damage is not. It only takes 15 minutes under the sun for the UV rays from the sun can make irreversible damage to both your hair and skin and cause premature aging or worse – skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US with approximately 9,500 people diagnosed every day. So, what are the precautionary measures you can take to avoid being one of the skin cancer statistics? Check out our hair and skin care tips to prevent UV damage:
Tip #1: Wear SPF every day even in winter season
Sunscreens are powerful protection against the UV rays of the sun that cause wrinkles, discoloration, and various other signs of aging. A 2013 randomized trial found that regular use of this staple product showed no detectable increase in skin again after 4 and a half years. For daily use, grab one with at least 30 sun protection factors (SPF) and if you’re swimming or will be outdoors for a long time, use SPF 50 and reapply every 2-3 hours. One thing to note is that SPF should be used during winter too and not just every summer since UV rays are always present.
Should you use SPF on your scalp?
You might think that sunscreens are only applied on the skin but if you have experienced a flaky scalp burn, then you know that scalp sunburn is real. Cream sunscreens might not be ideal to use on your scalp since it can make your hair sticky. Instead, use a sunscreen stick instead or sunscreen powder to help protect your scalp from getting sunburnt.
Tip #2: Use protective UV accessories
One cute way of protecting your face from the scorching heat of the sun is to wear a hat. Not only will it cover your face from too much sun exposure, but it will also protect your scalp from getting toasted in the sun. Pick a brim cap or one that can shield your face from the sun and avoid straw hats with holes. Some protective accessories also include a head scarf and sunglasses for eye protection.
Tip #3: Avoid peak times for UV ray exposure
The sun is a good provider of Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamins) but only at specific times. The sun peaks its highest UVs around 10 am to 4 pm so it is best to stay in the shade as long as possible during these times if you want to avoid premature aging. In some places, UV exposure is strong as early as 7 am so make sure to check your area’s heat index to prevent skin and hair damage.
Tip #4: Wear protective clothing
Adding layers or covering up can help minimize sun damage and uneven sunspots. Some garments now offer UV protection factor that doubles your chances of not getting sunburn or exposing your skin from premature aging. Thicker fabrics offer more protection than thin fabrics do. Dry and dark- colored clothes offer more UV protection since dark colors absorb more UV rays and prevent it from reaching your skin.
Tip #5: Use fewer heat styling tools
The sun may be brutal but using a heat styling tool such as a flat or curling iron can make your locks dried and frizzy. But hold on, this does not mean that you should throw away your hair tools. You just need to make sure to find a balance and check your hair health every now and then. UV exposure can be very damaging to your scalp and hair, and constantly using a heat styling tool on top of that can further produce damage
Tip #6: Moisturize and double condition your hair
When your hair and skin is damaged from UV exposure, it is important to moisturize and hydrate to bring back healthy skin and hair. Using SPF and moisturizer every day can help your skin look and feel softer and brighter. While double conditioning with Pure Biology Premium Conditioner will make sure that your hair will stay nourished and smoother.
Tip #7: Shampoo after swimming in a pool
According to a 2010 study, hair color damage can occur when you swim in a UV-exposed and chlorinated pool. Shampooing after swimming can reduce hair damage caused by chlorine. Use a gentle shampoo such as Pure Biology Premium Shampoo with coconut oil and biotin to keep your hair moisturized and voluminous.
Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging: A Randomized Trial: Annals of Internal Medicine: Vol 158, No 11. (2013). Annals of Internal Medicine. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002?articleid=1691733
Pires-Oliveira, R., & Inés Joekes. (2010, September 20). Hair color damages caused by exposure to chlorinated water in the presence of ultraviolet radiation. ResearchGate; unknown. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236109930_Hair_color_damages_caused_by_exposure_to_chlorinated_water_in_the_presence_of_ultraviolet_radiation