With summer approaching, we have to take care of our skin.

The sun with its UV lights can damage the skin immensely which is why protection is crucial. While we are used to skin protection (even if not everyone sticks to it) in summer, it should actually be done all year round. The harmful UV lights never really disappear. Here are some tips to keep our skin healthy.

1. Use Sunscreen (obviously…)

Sunscreen is the number one tool for a safer skin. The important number to look out for is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which acts against UVB radiation (which is the primary cause of skin cancer in the UV light). The higher the number, the higher the protection. A SPF 20 allows you to stay 20 times longer in the sun than you normally could if not wearing the cream, a SFP 30 means 30 times longer etc. This highly depends on your skin type though.There is also UVA radiation in UV light which does not cause cancer but is responsible for ageing, wrinkles and making our skin look old. To avoid this, make sure your sunscreen protects you from those, too. If it does, it normally says “broad spectrum” or a circled “UVA” on the packaging.Lastly, be aware that sunscreen expires! Use a new bottle each year.

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2. Take extra care of your Lips

Lips do not produce melanin, a compound that helps protection from UV lights. Therefore, always use a lip balm with a SPF. The number should be at least 20 to protect it thoroughly. This will make your lips nice and soft.

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3. Adapt your Nutrition

There are some foods that can help your body repel the harmful UV lights. It is no replacement for sunscreen but gives some extra protection. Such foods are flavonoids - found in green and black tea, dark chocolate, blueberries, cherries and nuts - and beta carotene – found in broccoli, butternut squash, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes. Moreover, lycopene – in tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers, grapefruits and mangoes - and omega-3 fatty acids – found in walnuts, salmon, shrimp, soy beans and sprouts – are acting as little helpers against the UV lights.

4. Cover up

On average 80 percent of a person’s sun exposer does not happen on purpose. Meaning you do not suntan but just do daily activities like walking through the city. Something that can help prevent the exposure is to cover your head. This way you can protect all skin on your head. According to experts “every 2 inches of brim lowers your skin-cancer risk by 10 percent”.

5. Stay hydrated

Having dry skin makes your skin more vulnerable. So, ensure to always drink enough water. Always carry a bottle around with you. Water can do wonders. If you drink enough you will look younger and support your skin to fight the UV lights. A good way to remind yourself to stay hydrated is to drink every 10 minutes. If this is hard for you to remember, set an alarm in the beginning. That will help you getting into the habit.

6. Get rid of the Brown Spots

Sun damaged skin often has many brown spots on it. This is due to uneven production of melanin which is a brown pigment that fights UV light. At some points it is produced in larger quantities which causes brown spots. To get rid of those you can use a skin bleach with a 2 percent concentration of hydroquinone. This has to be applied a two to three times a day.