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How to Best Protect Your Skin at the Beach

Our Skin is Important

Here’s a fun fact: our skin is our largest organ. It makes up around 15% of our body weight and covers an area of 21 square feet. It protects our internal organs and serves a very important role in regulating our body temperature. The not so good news: because of it’s exposure to the outside world, unlike our other organs, the skin is particularly vulnerable. The constant exposure to external stressors (such as harsh chemicals, UV light, cosmetic products; the list goes on) means that our skin has to work extra hard to protect and repair itself.

The most dangerous thing we can do to our skin is to expose it to sunlight without protecting it first. While it’s true that our bodies need the sun’s rays to produce Vitamin D, our skin is not equipped to deal with long suntanning sessions on its own. According to their wavelength, solar UV rays are split into two categories: UVA and UVB. UVA rays, which are the most prevalent, lead to wrinkles and premature aging, while prolonged exposure to UVB rays has more severe side effects, like burns, blisters, and skin cancer. Sunscreen is a good way to shield our skin from sunlight. However, it is very difficult to apply it correctly and wear it the way it is intended to be worn. We need to make sure we slather on a very thick layer every two hours, or it will lose its potency. The SPF number is important – the higher, the better – but that tends to leave behind a slimy film and a white outcast. At the beach, it needs to be reapplied every time you come out of the water, but who has the time for that? The last thing you need on holiday is more chores to do.

Beach Canopies

Hand’s down, one of the best ways to combat the detrimental effects of the great fireball in the sky is to take shelter under a beach canopy. In essence, these canopies are tent-like structures with no walls. They usually have four legs that you fasten in the sand using stakes or weights. They can accommodate everyone from a small family to a gathering of 10+ people. If you’re looking for sun protection, the best beach canopy to get is one that has been built with UPF materials (meaning that it uses the same technology as that used in sun-protective clothing). This ensures that no harmful sunlight can penetrate through the canopy, giving those of us with sensitive skin a chance to catch our breath. Perhaps the biggest advantage of owning a canopy is that it marks your spot on the beach. You no longer have to worry about someone moving your towel or stealing your belongings. Furthermore, you can go in and out of the water as you please, knowing that you will always be able to shield yourself in a pinch.