High summer is here, and it has Puerto Vallarta visitors and residents at the beach and by the pool to cool off and enjoy themselves. While most of us spend the majority of our beach and pool time under umbrellas, it is still very important to properly protect your skin from sun exposure. Studies have shown that people tend to significantly underestimate how much time in the sun they actually spend. Even 10 and 15 minute exposures can add up to sun damage, sunburn or worse, so we have some tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
1. Sunscreen. Of course, we all know this, but did you know that sunscreen can become significantly less effective within 6 months of opening the bottle? Did you also know that sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapplied every 3 hours or after swimming or exercising even if it is waterproof? The best practice for sunscreen is to remember to toss those old bottles, buy a broad spectrum SPF, and you can never reapply too often.
2. Hats. Be stylish and sun smart! Having a great hat not only offers you chic sun protection but also protects colored hair from losing its luster, helps ward off sunstroke, and prevents you from squinting which encourages wrinkles that perhaps you’re trying to avoid.
3. Cover up. Throwing on a cover-up is a great way to avoid a sunburn but not all fabrics are created equal. Gauze and thinly woven cotton and linen are great for keeping you cool, but they actually provide a lot less sun protection than you likely think. If you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period of time in the sun, a layer of sunscreen under your clothing is always good idea.
4. Remember the nooks and crannies! We have all done it. Applied our sunscreen diligently to later find that we “missed a spot” and ended up with a localized sunburn. Remember those often forgotten places like ears, the back of the neck and hairlines, and ask for some help for any hard to reach spots.
And finally, with our summer season in Puerto Vallarta also comes our short but powerful bursts of rain. When clouds roll in before a storm, don’t get too lackadaisical about skin protection. UVA and UVB rays can both seep through light to mid-cloud cover and cause a sunburn.
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