Sutro Bath

Is there anything more relaxing and rejuvenating than spending a day or weekend at the lake? There’s just something about being away from home and close to the water that restores the soul. But lake days also tend to be sunny days. And if you want to stay healthy and vibrant, you must learn to protect your skin.

7 Tips for Protecting Your Skin

Your skin is one of your most important organs. It serves as the protective barrier between your body’s most sensitive parts and the outside world. And if you want to enjoy your time at the  lake, you need to get serious about protecting your skin. Here are some specific ways you can do that:

1. Use the Right Sunscreen

Sunscreen might seem like a nuisance, but it’s necessary. Be sure to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. If you’ll be getting in the water, get something that’s water-resistant and be sure to reapply after swimming. 

While spray sunscreens are convenient, they don’t always apply as evenly or predictably as lotions. It’s recommended that you put in the extra work to rub your lotion in. 

2. Reapply Frequently

Applying sunscreen isn’t a one-time event. If you’re going to protect your skin, you should reapply at least every two hours. (Be sure to ask someone to help you out with hard to reach areas like your back.)

3. Wear the Right Clothing

While sunscreen is important, it’s not enough to fully protect you. The best thing you can do is combine sunscreen with the appropriate sun protective clothing.

Sun protective clothing is designed with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). This means it has the ability to block harmful sun rays from penetrating your skin. (The higher the UPF rating, the more protection you get.)

While you might think wearing long sleeves on a hot summer day would be uncomfortable, well-designed UPF clothing is lightweight, airy, and comfortable. The breathability keeps you much cooler than you think. 

4. Always Wear These 2 Items

Always, always, always wear sunglasses and a hat. Your eyes and scalp are two highly sensitive areas that are easy to damage without realizing it. 

For sunglasses, make sure you go with polarized shades.

“One of the main benefits of polarized lenses is their glare-blocking ability,” Sunglass Warehouse explains. “When you’re out on the water, the sunlight that reflects off the surface of the water can be super harsh. Polarized lenses eliminate glare completely and make looking out onto the surface of the water easy breezy.”

In terms of hats, you want something that provides protection for both your scalp and the rest of your face. A traditional baseball cap is fine, but for added protection, consider a bucket hat or sunhat. 

5. Use a Boat Top

Make sure your boat is equipped with some form of shade protection. Otherwise, your long day on the lake could turn into a long week of sunburn. There are a variety of styles of tops for boats. They include bimini tops, T-tops, and boat umbrellas. Choose one that works for your boat and provides the most possible shade.

6. Drink Plenty of Water

When you’re outside in the heat for extended periods of time, drinking water helps to keep you cool. It also provides your skin with the necessary hydration to avoid burning, splitting, cracking, and peeling. Gatorade and other drinks with electrolytes are also helpful, but they should never serve as a direct substitute for water.

7. Take a Break

The sun will typically be at its strongest between the hours of 10am to 4pm. Do your best to avoid these hours. And if you are going to be outside during this time, it’s recommended that you take breaks throughout the day. Try to get at least 15 or 20 minutes of shade every hour. This gives your skin some relief from the harsh rays.

Take Care of Yourself

Your skin is too vital to ignore. Whether it’s a single weekend at the lake or your general lifestyle, you need to care for your skin with a high degree of intentionality. In doing so, you’ll find it easier to live happier and healthier. You’ll also enjoy greater peace of mind that stems from knowing you’re treating your body well.