Got March break on your mind? Before you decide which sunny beach to spend it lounging on, it’s a good idea to consider how to protect your skin while on your spring break too – especially after enduring the long, dry winter months. That way, you can soak up those rays while giving your skin the TLC it needs and deserves. Here are some of our top tips to remember for giving your skin adequate protection in the sun.

Apply SPF Factor 30 and Reapply Often

If you ask any dermatologist what their one tip is for protecting the skin, their answer will likely be to use sunscreen – and often. Sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30 should be used whenever you’re outside, even when it’s cloudy. This helps to shield your skin from the harmful UV rays that can cause skin damage, premature aging and wrinkles, sunspots, and skin cancer. When applying, be sure to wait 20 minutes before getting in the water to let it absorb properly and reapply every 30 minutes.

Learn About Your Skin Type

Different skin types require different products and methods to nourish and protect it adequately. For example, those with fairer and drier complexions are more susceptible to premature aging, and sun damage. If you have sensitive skin, irritation or breakouts can often occur when applying standard sunscreens. To find what’s best for protecting your skin, and what won’t cause irritation, talk to your skincare specialist to learn more about your particular skin type. And if you don’t like standard sunscreens or if they irritate your skin, ask for recommendations of natural sunscreen alternatives – these can work just as well.

Cover Up

While sunscreen can help block out UV rays, covering up your skin as much as possible when you’re outside is just as important. Nowadays, you can find sun-protective clothing and rash guards that are designed to wear in the water while shielding you from UVA and UVB rays. It’s a great option to consider, especially for those who have lighter-toned skin and are more prone to burning.

Embrace the Shade

Being out in the sun for extended periods of time is never good for your skin, no matter how much sunscreen you’ve applied. The best line of defense for protecting your skin is to reduce the amount of time that you’re exposed to the sun. Look for shady trees to lounge under, find an umbrella, and try to break up your sun-filled time with more shady periods in between.

Diet and Hydration

Remember, what you eat, and drink directly impacts how your skin looks and feels. And one important step for maintaining supple, youthful-looking skin is hydration. So, start by taking a (reusable) water bottle everywhere with you so you can fill it up and stay hydrated– this is especially important to do after long days spent in the sun. Next, focus on consuming foods that replenish, boost, and naturally protect your skin, like avocado, oily fish, broccoli, walnuts, and sweet potato. If you’re serious about keeping your skin looking its best, you can’t ignore your diet.

Adopt a Good Skin Care Routine

No matter your age, having a good skincare routine is essential for achieving healthy, clear and beautiful looking skin. But what may work for your friend or sibling might not be the right routine for you. That’s why it’s crucial to identify and learn about your particular skin type, what it needs and what you should avoid. Whether it’s dry, oily, acne-prone or a combination, talking to a skincare specialist can direct you towards the right products and regime to follow.

Build a Base Before Jumping in the Sun

Though it may sound somewhat counterintuitive, building a bit of a base tan can benefit your skin before exposing it full throttle to the summer sun. After hibernating and hiding under a mound of clothing during the winter, stepping out into a sun-drenched environment is actually when our skin endures the most amount of damage. Even a few minutes of exposure can be enough to cause serious burns and damage. So, if possible, try to gently expose your skin to the sun for 10 minutes over the course of a few days. This will help it adjust and prepare for the spring break.

Replenish It with a Skin Treatment

To replenish your skin after those late nights and long beach days, a facial treatment can be very beneficial. Facial treatments offer a number of advantages for your skin. They can exfoliate dead layers of skin that cause dullness, improve blood circulation to provide more oxygen and nutrients to regenerate cells, reverse sun damage and fine lines, create even tone and texture, detoxify it and rejuvenate it.

If you’re concerned about protecting your skin while on spring break, or if you want to give it some TLC afterward, give us a call at the Ottawa Skin Clinic. Our skincare specialists can sit down with you, discuss your needs, and recommend the best treatment to nourish and restore your skin.