How to protect your skin in summer holidays


What is an ideal summer holiday like? Some time off in the hills or on a beach? Enjoy your hill or beach holiday alright but have a ‘sun safe’ plan to save your skin from harsh UV rays.

Don’t wait for peak summer to catch you unawares. Stock up on sunscreen for the face and body along with a pair of sunglasses and a hat. Check your beauty kit beforehand and make a note of things you should buy a couple of days before your vacation begins. “Invest in a comfortable sun hat with a neck flap; it helps prevent sunburn on the neck,” advises dermatologist Dr Sirisha Singh. Also, pack clothes that have thick weaves rather than flimsy ones as thick cotton is good for summer and also absorbs sweat.

It is common knowledge that UV exposure increases at higher altitudes – this means greater the risk of UV-induced damage, photoaging and pigmentation. Already stressed? You don’t have to lose your sleep. “Buy a sunscreen with SPF 50 and apply it 15 minutes before stepping out of your hotel/resort and repeat every 2-3 hours,” says Singh. Your skin can still feel a bit sore after spending long hours in the sun, especially if it is sensitive to the sun. To soothe sun-stressed skin, use some aloe vera gel (preferably organic) at night and you will wake up with fresh skin in the morning.

It’s so much fun to ski on snow or surf in blue ocean waters. While you enjoy the charms of the beach, remember to wear sunscreen and re-apply immediately after contact with water. Do keep in mind that snow, water and ice act as a reflector and increase the intensity of UV radiation, making the skin more vulnerable to sunburn. Use generous amounts of sunscreen/sunblock on all exposed parts of the body during your summer break.

Children under 10 years should use a pure physical block like a zinc oxide containing sunscreen. UV protective goggles and a sun hat would also help. To reduce sun-induced damage during vacations, antioxidant tablets may be a good idea. However, consult your dermatologist on what antioxidants to take and details on dosage. Don’t pick up just anything from over the counter.

— Dr Sirisha Singh

By: Pallavi Shankar

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