There’s nothing quite like a summer in Texas. Whether you’re taking a walk around Lake Houston or enjoying a picnic at the nearest park, there are tons of things to do in the city during this season. However, while it’s always great to enjoy the sunshine, it’s important to stay protected from the harsh sun, which can cause problems like nasty sunburn and even skin cancer. So before you go out and about this season, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Be generous with sunscreen

The most important tip to keep your skin safe is to wear sunscreen religiously and generously. Ideally, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you're out all day. There are two types of sunscreen you can choose from: physical sunblock, which deflects UV rays, and chemical sunscreen, which absorbs the UV rays before they penetrate your skin. Minimum 50 SPF is best, and you should also check if your sunscreen protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Keep in mind that clouds don’t block UV rays, so wear sunscreen regardless if it’s sunny or cloudy.

Use protective gear

Wearing sunscreen alone can’t protect you from the sun. It may be tempting to wear shorts and light-colored clothing, but if you can see light through fabric, then UV rays will be able to get through too. Long sleeves and long pants or skirts cover most of the skin, while dark-colored clothes and tightly woven fabrics provide more protection than light-colored and loose ones. There are also UPF washes that you can use to give your clothes some UV protection without having to change the color or texture. Aside from the clothes you wear, make sure to wear a cap and umbrella with you as well.

Have a soothing regimen

After spending hours outside, you may notice your skin feeling sensitive due to the harsh sun. When this happens, it’s important to have a skincare routine for sensitive skin. Not only will this keep your skin calm and reduce redness, but it also strengthens your skin barrier so it doesn’t get irritated further. Look for ingredients like ceramides and peptides, as these are extra nourishing and will visibly improve your skin over time. However, keep your summer skincare routine more lightweight and in line with summer needs. For instance, switch your heavy cream with a gel-based moisturizer to avoid that sticky feeling.

Avoid tanning beds

Having sun-kissed skin is all the rage during summer. And for those who don’t get to travel to a beach, tanning beds are the next best thing. However, these are actually more harmful than the sun, and even just one tanning bed session can already cause harm. Dangers of tanning beds include premature aging and increased risk of skin and eye cancer, particularly melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. So if you want that tan, some safer options are bronzers, spray tans, and tan applicators like lotion.

Stay hydrated

Something as simple as always having water with you 24/7 will help your skin greatly, especially during summer when you lose so much fluid from sweat. Being hydrated can give clear and supple skin. It helps you recover from sunburn too, since sunburn dries the skin and can cause it to lose water. Of course, drinking water is just as essential for the rest of your body and will keep you feeling cool and energized no matter what the temperature is.

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