Summer is the ultimate season of relaxation; you're free from nightly homework, teachers barking about pop quizzes, and the various horrors of the cafeteria. But you should still have one concern: protecting your skin as you frolic at the beach, swim at the pool, and meet up with friends for volleyball games. We don’t want to sound like your nagging mother—we're not going to tell you to wear a t-shirt over your bathing suit or swipe a line of sunscreen down your nose—but we also don’t want your beautiful, buttermilk skin to burn to a crisp while you're outside catching rays! Protecting your skin doesn't have to be dorky—in fact, follow the tips below, and you'll look totally cool no matter how hot it gets!
Select the right products. When picking out a sunscreen, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the drugstore aisle—there are so many choices! If you're sporty and plan on biking, swimming, running, and playing softball with your friends, make sure you grab a water-and-sweat-resistant brand. If you’re lazy and hate asking people to help rub in your ‘screen, go with a spray bottle that makes application easy. For your face, find an oil-free stick that you can quickly skim over your skin (don’t forget to go all the way up into your hairline). And even if you don’t spend that much time in the sun, you should give yourself a little protection, so grab a moisturizer with some SPF in it.
Know your SPF. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the higher the number, the more protection you have from UV rays. If you want to skip the painful burn, choose a higher SPF. If you pick SPF 15, you're hardly giving your skin any shield at all from the sun's rays. If you pick a higher number, like a 30 or a 50, you can technically spend more time outside, but you still need to be careful and reapply frequently. Whenever you can feel yourself boiling up, pile on the sunscreen.
Rock the one piece. Luckily for you, vintage one-piece suits are totally IN this season. Not only do they make girls look like glamourous centerfolds, but they cover more of your skin—it's a win-win! Wearing a bathing suit that shields your stomach and lower back gives you less surface area to cover in sunscreen and will make the process a lot shorter and sweeter. You won’t need to lotion up while all your friends are cannon-balling into the lake, because you’ll be the first one in!
Invest in a cool cover-up. When you plan to spend a day at the beach or a pool party, you’ll be outside for hours, which means your skin will be like, “Excuse me, but can we take a break?” Give your skin a breather by bringing along a cute sundress or sarong to wear while you’re not in the water. When you're lounging and chatting with friends, slip it on and be thankful for the extra coverage (because tomorrow your friends will have red, blotchy skin and you'll look healthy and vibrant!). Another bonus? When you have a cover-up on, you’ll feel less self-conscious about your stomach while you SLAM that hotdog. JACKPOT.
Top it off. A retro hat will look killer with your vintage-style one piece—and you won't get any of those pesky scalp sunburns! If you don’t think you can pull off a big-brimmed beauty a la J LO, we understand—this look's not for everyone! Think about what kind of hat suits you—maybe it’s your brother’s baseball hat, a quirky neon cap, or a straw fedora! But whatever you do, leave the floppy fisherman’s hat at home. Grandpa's the only one who can werk that look.
Follow Rihanna's lead: While we wouldn’t suggest going to this R&B songstress for romantic guidance, she is from Barbados, and knows all about those UV rays. Take a hint from her hit Umbrella and bring along a cute and colorful parasol to shield your sensitive skin. Getting sweaty? Take a little break in the shade, baby!
How do you keep your skin healthy, glowing, and burn-free in the summer?