If you have fair skin or have children that do, you will know how hard it is to protect your skin from sunburn and just how easy it is to burn. Fair skin is more at risk in the sun than any other skin tone and burns the quickest. This is due to a natural substance found in the body called Melanin. The more Melanin you have in your skin, the darker your skin tone is. Those with fair skin have little Melanin, which helps protect the skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Here are a few ways to protect that fair skin next time you are going out in the sun.
The most important part of protecting our skin is ensuring that we have a reliable sunscreen with a strong factor. For fair skin, factor 50+ is the best way to ensure that our skin is protected from the UV rays and that we reduce the risk of sunburn. The SPF of a sunscreen can be confusing to many people and we shouldn’t assume a factor 50 sunscreen means it can last all day. Understanding what SPF means and how it relates to protecting the skin from sunburn is important in understanding why we still need to reapply it often.
Experts suggest that we should still reapply sunscreen every 1-2 hours. You do not need to lather yourself until you stick to everything in sight. Ensure your skin is covered evenly as layering will not make it any more effective. As we sweat, we will lose the effects of the sunscreen and, therefore, that is why applying every 1-2 hours keeps us safe from UV rays. This is especially important if you are using the pool or sea, as even waterproof sunscreen will eventually come off. Apply sunscreen around 20 minutes before going out into the sun, so that your skin has time to soak it in and reap the benefits. Every person with fair skin may have different skin needs. There are sunscreens for those with oily, dry, or combination skin, which can give you the best skincare whilst protecting your skin from the sun.
Just because you are wearing sunscreen, it does not mean your fair skin is fully protected from the sun. A prime target for UV rays can be your scalp, as chances are you have not used sunscreen here as your hair provides cover. Unfortunately, your hair doesn’t completely protect you from sunburn and the best way to avoid a dry, sunburnt scalp is a hat. If you are not a fan of wearing a hat, there are many alternatives such as scarves or caps. If you are sunbathing, it is best to stay under an umbrella to avoid the UV rays, especially if you are prone to falling asleep in the sun.
Treating Sun-Damaged Fair Skin
If you have damaged your skin in the past, you may have permanent sun damage or age spots from doing so. The Dermatology Center in Plano offers a variety of treatments for sun damaged skin, including face peels that help your skin to go back to its original healthy self. Dermatologists can advise you on the best products for your fair skin to prevent this happening again. If you have recently damaged your skin and are suffering from sunburn, there are ways to promote the natural healing process and stop the pain that can come with sun damage. Take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling that sunburn can cause. Check the packets to ensure you know when and how to take pain relief effectively and safely. Cool water can soothe the damaged area if freshly burnt. Do not use freezing cold water as this temperature change can make you feel worse. Aloe Vera gel is a great natural healer, especially when treating sun damage for all skin types, especially fair skin. Applying this in a circular motion will encourage blood flow to the area and soothe the upper layer of the skin. Do not expose your skin to the sun once it is damaged, as this can cause further pain and damage to the area and will prevent healing from the beginning. Once the skin is damaged, it does not have any natural protection from the sun and, therefore, can be damaged even more easily.
Benefits of The Sun
Although the sun can be damaging, especially to fair skin, this shouldn’t stop you from getting those sun rays. The sun is responsible for increasing our vitamin D levels, a vitamin that plays a vital role in helping us to have healthy bones and teeth, it supports the natural defense system in the body, which helps us to fight infections, and it supports lung function. We need sun exposure to prevent illnesses such as scurvy, but we just need to know how to best protect ourselves whilst reaping the benefits. Skin damage can cause many problems, so those with fair skin need to be extra careful. Getting out in the sun can also increase our physical activity and reduce the risk of obesity, and it can improve our mental health.
Just because you have fair skin, you do not need to be worried about missing days out. Sunscreen is there to protect those with even the fairest of skin, and reapplying throughout the day and going into shaded places will help reduce the risk of any sun damage or sunburn. Sunlight exposure increases our serotonin levels, which is involved with our well-being and our general mood. The sun can increase our general happiness and is a great mood booster.
Protecting your skin is important no matter what skin tone you are, but those with fair skin need to take extra precautions as they are the most at risk. Promote this from an early age with your children if they have fair skin, and if you are swimming, apply waterproof sunscreen regularly to avoid skin damage.