Want Leather Skin? No? Then Follow These 5 Steps to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

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No one wants wrinkles, skin blotches, sun spots, or, even worse, skin cancer. It all starts with protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. No need to act like a hermit, though, you can still enjoy soaking up some vitamin D, just be smart about it. There’s no better way to keep you skin looking beautifully healthy than incorporating these five tips into your beauty routine.

5 Avoid Tanning Beds

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Like many doctors say, there’s no such thing as a safe tan. And tanning beds may be the worst tan. They can be even more harmful than sun exposure because the light is so much more concentrated. If you want to give your skin a little glow and color, try a self-tanning or bronzing lotion.

4 Stay Covered Up

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Wearing light, loose clothing outside will keep you cool and keep the sun’s rays off your skin. Some clothes even include sunscreen in the fabric. The lighter the colors (read: white), the more the rays are reflected away, while darker colors absorb sunlight. You’ll also want to wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and a wide-brimmed hat to keep your scalp and neck protected.

3 Apply Sunblock Early and Often

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On days when you plan on spending a few hours out in the sun, make sure you apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outside. You only need 1 oz for your whole body (about a shot glass’s worth), but you’ll need to reapply every two hours in the sun. Make sure to get a broad-spectrum one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and watch the expiration date. Don’t keep any bottle longer than a year.

2 Use a Daily Lotion with SPF

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Most people apply moisturizer to their face everyday anyways, so finding one with SPF 8 to 15 in it will further help protect your skin. You can also use makeup with SPF in it. The skin on your face is especially vulnerable to damage, because it’s thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. And make sure you cover the most often overlooked areas: ears, the back of neck, nose, and tops of your feet.

1 Avoid Peak Hours in the Sun

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Try to stay out of direct sunlight during peak hours between 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. That’s when the sun’s rays are the strongest and will cause the most damage. If you do have to be outside, find some shade from an umbrella, awning, or tree to relax under. If there’s no shade, make sure you apply sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses (see tips 3 and 4).

Taking care of your skin by keeping it out of the sun as much as possible will help ensure you look younger longer. And who doesn’t want that? If you do happen to get a little too much sun, don’t worry, just apply some aloe vera to the sunburnt area and take extra care next time.

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