Let’s face it – the lighting in the summer is so much better. You’re getting out and doing more fun things, you’re spending more time in the sun, you’re working on that summer glow, and you’re ready to capture it with the perfect selfies and photos, too. But before you get too crazy soaking up the rays, remember a few things to keep you from getting fried and damaging your skin. After all, you do not want to show up for your Denver senior pictures session red as a lobster!
SPF – Why You Need It
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects you from UVB rays, the ones that cause skin damage and sunburn and can contribute to the development of skin cancer. Especially at this elevation, a good sunscreen is crucial if you’re going to be spending any amount of time out in the sun. We’re a little closer to the sun, and that means we need it even more. Not only does under-protecting your skin put you at a greater risk for skin cancer, it speeds up the aging process on your skin and causes damage that can lead to hyperpigmentation as well as other issues.
The Fine Print
So you know you need sunscreen to keep that selfie-ready glow safe and healthy, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that you need it more than once in any given day. Most sunscreens are only formulated to last up to 2 hours, and that time gets cut drastically if you’re sweating a lot or playing in the water. Aim to reapply at least every 90 minutes, and if you’re going to be around water or working up a sweat in the sun, make sure you’re choosing a sunscreen formulated to last a normal amount of time under those conditions. Read the fine print on those bottles! It may be the difference between you waking up the next day feeling good and waking up with red skin and a nasty burn. There are sunscreen formulas specifically formulated for the more sensitive skin on your face – make sure you’re using the right kind of protection on the different parts of your body.
Get the Glow – Safely
If you’re just out there looking for the glow, consider a gradual self-tanner to build a base that will make getting burnt just a little harder, or go all out for that gorgeous bronzed look with a self-tanner that’s less gradual. If you’re fake baking (always preferred to laying out in the sun for the safety of your skin!), make sure you have an even application and test out the product on a small portion of a thigh before applying it all over if you’ve never used it before.
It’s that time of year when everyone wants to look a little sunkissed, and sure, a little color doesn’t look bad in photos at all, but the key is to make sure you’re bronzing in a safe way that will help you keep your youthful glow for years and years to come. After all, those selfies are so not cute if you’re prematurely aging or not taking good care of your skin.