Protecting Your Skin From The Sun: 5 Steps from a Sun Allergy Sufferer

For me, protecting my skin from the sun is not just a good idea for long-term skin health, but a necessary thing in order to avoid having an allergic reaction. It’s not a problem all year round, but the hot summer months mean that I am much more prone to sun damage than the rest of the year.

As you might imagine, I am becoming somewhat of an expert in protecting myself from the sun. Today I’m going to share my best tips and products for keeping my skin happy as I enjoy summer as best I can!

Sunscreen

No surprises here! I apply sunscreen every two hours, starting right before I go outdoors. I mainly apply on my arms, face, and exposed chest areas, and legs if I’m wearing shorts. Even if I am wearing long sleeves I still apply sunscreen as the UV rays can permeate fabric, and my arms are basically the solar panels to my allergy!

The product that I use mostly is Banana Boat’s Baby Sunscreen. I like to think this is because my skin is a big baby that needs delicate protection. It’s SPF 60 (which is higher than is necessary to be effective, but is fine) and really good for sensitive skin. The sensitivity factor is why I picked it personally, and I don’t think it’s a bad idea for anyone. The protection it provides is the same, and it’s a little kinder than the regular stuff.
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I would be keen to use a natural or organic product but I have yet to find one that adequately works with my allergy. Likewise I do not use a particular sunscreen for the face, just the same product. If you have any suggestions that are overwhelmingly good then I’d be pleased to hear about it!

Sunglasses

Did you know you can get sun damage on your eyes? It only makes sense, after all. Sunglasses aren’t imperative but can make a huge difference, especially for the delicate skin around your eyes that doesn’t always get covered by sunscreen (especially if you’re wearing makeup, as I always tend to be). Protecting your vision can only be a wise thing.

The bigger the sunglasses, the better. This is pretty good news as large sunglasses are pretty common and can be really cute. I’ve had a few prescription pairs from clearlycontacts.ca (not affiliated) that have been great and I always wear when driving, especially.

Big Hats!

I felt I needed a real excuse for years to start wearing all the big hats I’ve amassed. Now I realize that I never needed an excuse other than avoiding the sun! My favourite is a paper-straw hat with a big brim, but here are a few cute suggestions (Note: no affiliate links, all my own suggestions):
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Cover-Ups

As I mentioned before, simply covering the skin doesn’t guarantee it’s protected from UV rays. But dark colours do a better job, and I prefer to wear cover-ups that just cover my shoulders, areas where it’s harder for me to monitor how much sun they are getting. Plus, they can be really cute. Often you’ll find them listed in stores as Kimono tops:
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Multivitamin

A lot of people probably should be taking a multivitamin all year round, myself included. I’m vegetarian and have been for the past 8 years, so while this doesn’t directly effect my reaction to the sun, I think it’s important to keep healthy with adequate vitamins and minerals to ensure that your body is at its peak ability to keep itself healthy.

This is no excuse to not eat healthy, though! Make sure you’ve not stopped eating fruits and vegetables for summer treats, especially since they are in season and so, so fresh.

Bonus: Allergy Medication

I’m throwing this in at the end in case any readers are also struggling with figuring out an allergic reaction to summer sunlight. I take a 24-hour non-drowzy allergy pill in the morning and in combination with sunscreen, I have nearly no reaction to being outside anymore.

Obviously, this will only work for those whose reaction to UV rays is allergy based, and not a symptom of another condition or sensitivity. I’d say it’s worth a try if you’re exploring the options. A visit to the dermatologist can provide you with even more options and understanding of your own personal tolerance to the sun.
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