Everything You Need To Know About Skin Protection



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Sophia Li, Staff Writer

As the body’s largest organ, your skin plays a vital role in protecting you which is why it’s crucial to promote good skin health. The skin protects against germs, keeps the fluids within the body, regulates body temperatures, and enables tactile sensations. It’s the one part of our body that comes in contact with the outside world, which is why protecting and preserving healthy skin is so vital. 

We’ve all had those uncomfortable situations where we’ve been playing outside for too long or spending too much time sunbathing at the beach and coming back home as a red tomato. Sunburn is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) light, and at times can be harmful and lead to skin cancer. You might notice that your skin has gone darker a few shades, which is just melanin doing its job in protecting your body from harmful UV rays. Melanin is the body’s natural defense against sunburn, which is why people with naturally darker skin tones are less likely to get sunburnt compared to those with naturally lighter skin tones. 

However, don’t fret, because there are many ways to protect yourself, your skin, and your overall health! Protecting your skin doesn’t require an intensive skincare routine, as small changes in your routines can quickly become second nature, just like getting dressed in the morning. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can delay natural aging, prevent skin problems, and reap abundant benefits. 

To start, whenever possible, limit your sun exposure. Long periods of time spent under the sun increase the chances of getting exposed to harmful UV radiation, and simply limiting that is a great start. We all know that staying under the sun can lead to skin damage, including skin cancer, freckles, wrinkles, age spots, and discolorations. To combat this problem, you can apply (and reapply!) sunscreen every day, stay indoors or under the shade whenever possible, or cover-up (especially when the UV index is high). You can also get creative with your choices and do multiple at a time, like bringing an umbrella or wearing sunscreen and a hat! 

“I make sure to apply sunscreen in my morning routine, as well as before 6th period because I’m in Track and Field and I run under the sun every day! It’s important to me that I have enough skin protection, which is why I use the Coppertone Sports Sunscreen and make sure to apply enough of it!” said Arcadia High School (AHS) Junior Charlotte Huang.

Additionally, it’s also important to know your skin. Knowing your skin type, whether it’s normal, oily, dry, sensitive, or a combination is crucial because you’ll know which products can help benefit your specific skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, applying sunscreen that is oil-free and one that doesn’t leave a white smear is a plus. If you have dry skin, try shopping for moisturizers that are thicker and can leave your skin feeling hydrated. As another example, if you have oily skin, finding the right cleanser that is gentle and helps get rid of excess oil is advantageous. Gentle skin products are essential as well, as you want to wash your face (without harshly scrubbing) to remove dirt, oils, germs, and dead cells from your skin. 

“I have normal skin type but sometimes it’ll dry out when it’s hot out, so I’ll use a thicker moisturizer after I shower. As a swimmer, I get sunburnt easily as I spent a lot of time under the sun, so I make sure to apply sunscreen before, and I’ll use a Shiseido body moisturizer afterward!” said AHS Sophomore, Lana Menck. 

Lastly, another way to protect your skin health comes in being aware of the other actions you do in your daily life that may hurt or help your skin. For example, avoid indoor tanning, as although it is very dangerous for younger users, it also has lasting impacts on everyone who uses it, as it is just as harmful as direct sunlight. Tanning beds also emit ultraviolet rays, and those who start using it during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of developing melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer, also known as ‘black tumor’). Additionally, practicing regular health habits like staying hydrated and eating clean can also help your skin bounce back from damages or cuts. 

In all, like our mental health or emotional well-being, protecting one’s skin is just as important. Strategies like limiting sun exposure, knowing your skin type, and being mindful and aware of your actions are all great ways to keep your skin health in check. Last but not least, it’s important to remind ourselves that our tiny habits can build up over time, so it’s never too late to start practicing good habits!


Photo Courtesy of MAXPIXEL