What does International Skinny Dipping Day (July 11th), the bikini and Nude Recreation Week have in common? They are all related to the month of July! And if you’re going to partake in any of them, you’ll need protection!
The bikini had its debut in July 1945, and the week after the 4th of July is Nude Recreation Week. July 11th, is International Skinny Dipping Day. So with skin exposure top of mind, this is a good time to check on your skin care game!
This short article will tell you:
- why your skin is important to your overall health
- how to find a safe and effective sunscreen
- why you need a total body skin check
- what basics you’ll want when you go out in the sun
YOUR SKIN IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR OVERALL HEALTH: In acupuncture theory, the Lung system governs the skin, and the skin relates to our “defensive Qi”, our protection system, similar to but more comprehensive than the western concept of the immune system. So the better we take care of our skin the more we will protect our overall health. And with Covid-19 still spreading through our communities, protection is paramount.
HOW TO FIND A SAFE SUNSCREEN: Pioneering research in the 1970s by Margaret Kripke showed that UV radiation can do systemic harm to the immune system. SPF labels are rather meaningless, but UVA protection is the key. No laws currently exist to mandate effective ingredients for sun protection. So for the time being, inferior products remain on store shelves, they include some unsafe ingredients that can be absorbed into the blood, and worse, they don’t really protect users from dangerous UVA rays.
Environmental Working Group has rated hundreds of sunscreens, sporty and beach sunscreens, baby-safe products and even lip balms to help you make the best choice.
If you bring your sunscreen with you to re-apply (you get a gold star if you do!), then your sunscreen has been exposed to high temps, and may be degrading. So make sure you have a fresh tube at the beginning of your sun season.
TOTAL BODY SKIN CHECK: So how IS your skin? If you haven’t visited a dermatologist within the last two years, it’s a good time to schedule a total body check. If you garden regularly, or enjoy playing or watching outdoor sports, it’s even more important you make this part of your periodic healthcare routine. When you schedule this appointment, be sure to specify a total body check, as it takes more time than just checking one or two spots. And if you have a questionable mole or beauty mark, ask them to measure it and note it in your chart so it can be tracked for size and texture changes. If you experienced a lot of sun burns in your youth, then your skin might be more vulnerable and needs regular monitoring.
THE BASICS: And let’s remember the easy things: A good hat with a wide brim, a visor, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved shirt or a wrap will provide a barrier for additional protection. If your neck is exposed, a kerchief will will protect you (and double as a virus mask, if need be). Parasol, anyone?
Taking good care of your skin in your 20s and 30s will keep it looking better naturally once you hit your 40s, 50s and 60s. Sun screen is a bit of a hassle, but once you commit to it, the habit becomes second nature. Finding the best product for you is the key. It has the biggest payout as we age. Clean (i.e., with safe ingredients) skin care products and an occasional facial (either professional or at home) are also beneficial ways to keep your skin looking its best at every age.
I’ve got a free book of 48 ways you can take to get your (skin) glow on. Check it out before you go out in the sun!
Cindy Rae Fancher says
Great article, wish I had known more in my teens and twenties!
Kathleen Port, L.Ac. says
But you had fun out there, right?! Tweaking your skin care routine with a Vitamin C serum is a great start. Organic Rose hydrosol is soothing to the skin, and can be used over or under moisturizer.