It may no longer be National Skin Care Awareness Month, but as we head into the sunniest time of year, it's important to stay aware of the harmful effects the sun may have on your skin – many of which you may not even be aware of. We all love our skincare regimen, face masks, and more, but the easiest way to protect skin from damage is by protecting it from harmful rays. As parts of the country start to reopen and more outdoor activities begin opening up in stages, it's likely that you'll be in the sun more this summer – whether celebrating an intimate, alfresco bridal shower with your nearest and dearest, having an "engagement-moon" at a beach destination, or taking a road trip with your fiancé to get out of the house for a bit, we thought we'd share some smart sun tips!
For expert advice on the subject, we spoke with Celeste Hilling – founder of Skin Authority, a company leading new health-inspired skin care formulations to transform the appearance of, while enhancing and protecting, your skin – for her answers to the questions brides-to-be are asking regarding how they can stay "sun safe" this summer.
What's the best way to protect yourself from the sun – when not going in the sun isn't an option?
Celeste urges, "It is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect you from both UVA and UVB. SPF [itself] does not protect you from UVA rays, which cause signs of aging and can be more damaging to your internal cells, leading to issues like skin cancer." She assertss that it's more important to have an SPF of 15 or 30 that's also broad spectrum, versus a higher SPF that isn't a broad-spectrum product – "also, put your sunscreen on 30-45 minutes before going into the sun," she shares.
How can a bride (as well as wedding guests) protect themselves from the sun during an outdoor wedding event?
"I love that now many brides are providing sunscreen-application stations for guests to apply sunscreen before they are seated – [and also] providing umbrellas or coverage so guests can sit in the shade during the service," she suggests, which is something that we've seen many Inside Weddings couples incorporate into their outdoor ceremonies. Celeste also offers a new trend idea for summer weddings: "Instead of mints or printed materials as favors for weddings, you can provide a little travel-size sunscreen for guests to apply!"
Photo by Jose Villa Photography; Planning & Design by Beth Helmstetter Events
Now that it's almost summer and many brides are likely tanning outdoors, how can they still achieve their desired look while also protecting themselves from harmful rays?
For lovers of the sun, it's an unfortunate fact that "there is no such thing as a safe suntan," reminds Celeste. "But you can look like you have one with great sunless-tanner products... There are so many great sunless-tanner products now that people can use in lieu of spray tanning. For our Skin Authority sunless tanner, you just apply before you sleep at night and it will make your skin look shades darker." She also reminds couples that sunscreen should always be applied after using sunless tanner since skin may be more photo-sensitive for 24 hours after applying.
What should brides look for when purchasing an SPF product?
Once again, Celeste urges: "It’s best to not only look for a higher SPF of 30 or 50 but also broad-spectrum protection, which provides protection from UVA and UVB rays," recommending SkinSuit by Skin Authority. "Most importantly, you should also look for a reef-safe sunscreen that does not damage our oceans – that means 100% mineral sunscreen without avobenzone or oxybenzone."
What's your best advice for someone who loves spending time outside, but also wants to protect themselves from the harm of the sun?
It's best to apply sunscreen "every two hours," Celeste confirms, "and you should apply at least one ounce for the body." She also suggests covering up, wearing wide-brim hats as well as UPF clothing and accessories, and using UV-protecting sunglasses. "Play in the shade!" she also suggests, especially between 10AM-4PM. "Walk on the shady side of the street, sit under an umbrella or tree, and remember that water, glass, and concrete are reflective," she notes. "Watch out for windows and screens," she also warns, sharing that the front window of a car is the only one that has full UV-protection and to be weary of home windows, airplane and train windows, and even the screens of electronic devices.
So while it's not always possible to avoid the sun, especially in the beautiful summer months, make sure you are smart about your sun protection to stay safe from harmful rays, protecting yourself from sun damage and skin cancer, as well as keeping your beautiful bridal glow even years after you say "I do."