It’s finally Summertime! I usually share travel guides, tips, and reviews from destinations all over the world, but nothing in my own backyard. This summer I’m taking a break from going away to do more in New York. An issue I see often is going to the beach, water park or vacation is black people not applying sunscreen. I’ll be honest, sunscreen is not something I religiously wore growing up. As I became aware of the long-term effects of sun exposure, I make it my business to have a good skincare routine and wear sunscreen and facial moisturizers with SPF on a daily basis. The melanin in dark skin allows us to not need as much sunscreen, but it still is necessary. Since July is right around the corner and also UV Safety Month, here are some tips for sunburn prevention.
Check your sunscreen labels and make sure you’re using one with an SPF of at least 30 and it is protecting you from UVA and UVB Rays. UVA rays cause you to tan while UVB ray exposure causes sunburn.
If you do plan on being outside, wear the proper gear. You can wear breathable clothing like cotton and wear a hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
Apply and Reapply
When applying sunscreen, apply at least 15-30 min before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. Most sunscreen is water-resistant for this amount of time, but if you sweat a lot or are in the water and dry off, apply more frequently.
If you don’t have to be outside, stay in between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM. Although it isn’t recommended to be out during these times, it IS the best time to be outside for vitamin D production.
Just because you have these tips doesn’t mean you won’t slip up. The majority of my birthday weekend in Martinique was spent on the island’s beaches and I burned and peeled for the first time when I got home. It wasn’t as bad as my cousin’s, but it was because of too much time in the sun and not reapplying. If you happen to get a sunburn, treat the area with a cool washcloth and apply some aloe vera gel to decrease stinging or itching. When it does get cool enough, make sure to keep the area moisturized as your skin begins to repair itself.