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sun protection

A few tips and precautions to take against the summer heat. Get your sun protection and hydration to save your skin from sun damage.

SUN PROTECTION

Our bodies make vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun, which is essential for bone, teeth, and muscle health. But with that comes exposure to ultraviolet rays, which can damage skin cells and cause discoloration and skin burns, and can also increase the risk of skin cancers. UV rays tend to be strongest from 10 am to 4 pm.

With summer comes longer exposure time to ultra violet rays, so, what can we do to take care of our skin health during summer?

The first step is protection:

Put-on broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays before you go outside. Do not forget to put a thick layer on all exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back.

Sunscreen is not recommended for babies who are 6 months old or younger. The FDA recommends keeping infants out of the sun during the middle of the day and using protective clothing if they have to be in the sun.sun protection

SPF:

Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF), which is a number that rates how well they block UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher.

Please remember that sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. 

*Important to note: Sunscreen may interrupt Vitamin D absorption by the skin.

HYDRATION

As we all know, dehydration can lead to serious complications like kidney problems and heat exhaustion. But it can also affect your skin health.

Along with increased water intake, you must consume vegetables and fruits that contain big amounts of water and fibers. Try to reduce your sugar intake as it increases the sense of dehydration, and salt intake to avoid water retention in your body.

Summar fruits are usually full of water. Watermelon, for example, is very cool in nature and quite filling, without overloading the stomach. Try to avoid pre-cut fruits when you are not sure about its source and storage, as it may carry risk of infection.

Cucumbers and lettuce are also full of fiber and water and will keep you hydrated, they also help your bowel movement, protecting against constipation. Add lots of them in your salads or snack on them during the day.

Mint is an easily available and an inexpensive herb which can be used in sauces, dips and in making refreshing cooling drinks, because of its refreshing nature and cool taste.

How much water should we drink?

Insufficient water intake is not only a risk for dehydration, it can also complicate the process of digestion and increase the sense of hunger, which will make you consume more calories. Low water intake during the summer heat can increase the feeling of tiredness, dizziness, and overheating during exercises.

So how much water is enough? On average, we need at least 12 cups (around 2 liters) of fluids daily.

*Tasty refreshment: Try mixing water with cucumber slices, a cinnamon stick and some mint leaves.

Protect your skin and keep your body hydrated to achieve a healthy glowing look.

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This article was brought to you by Tabibi 24/7, Cairo’s leading Family Medicine & Pediatrics group practice. Tabibi operates 24/7 and offers its services at the comfort of your own home or in one of its clinics.
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