Ah, summer. The warm days, the cabin trips, the patio dinners … the sun damage?! Unfortunately, those sunshiney skies can have some less-than-ideal consequences, namely premature aging, sunburn, and even the increased risk of melanoma.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to hide from the sun during Minnesota’s all-too-brief summer months. July is UV Safety Month, which means it’s the perfect time to arm yourself with both information and UV protection to safely make the most of pool time and outdoor happy hours.
What are the signs of sun damage?
Sun damage can present itself as several different things, including wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentation, freckles, and, technically, a sun tan. If you frequently burn, you also increase your risk of melanoma, so it’s imperative to make sun protection a priority year round. This is particularly important if you’re fair-skinned, as you’re genetically more likely to burn.
One of the best ways to help prevent melanoma is to have your skin checked every year at your yearly appointment with your physician or dermatologist, so make sure to schedule that appointment and make it a habit for the whole family.
What are the best ways to protect myself?
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen — even when it’s cloudy! Experts suggest applying a shot glass worth of SPF 30 and higher every two hours when you’re out in the sun. Wear a hat to protect your scalp and give yourself extra shade, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your hands, too, especially when you’re stuck in traffic. UV rays can shine right through your car windows!
I want to get a tan. Can I do so safely?
We’re not saying you can never lay in the sun again. Just be sure to consistently and thoroughly apply SPF and cover up when you’ve had too much sun, and try to enjoy the weather outside of the peak hours between 10 AM and 2 PM, when the sun burns brightest. However, the safest tan is a faux tan, so fake it with bronzer if you need a glow stat.
Sometimes I forget to put sunscreen on. How can I make it easier so I remember?
We totally get it. It’s not always easy to a) apply sunscreen every few hours and b) coat your exposed skin in sunscreen all day long. Keep a small travel bottle in your bag at all times so you can apply on the go, especially when you know you’re going to be out in the sun for a few hours.
Another great option is makeup with SPF infused into it, like Jane Iredale’s Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen, which comes with a brush so you can easily apply it to your face, neck, hands, and even your scalp. If liquid makeup is more your speed, they also offer a great water-resistant Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15.
Many of our favorite skincare lines offer great SPF moisturizers, including IMAGE Skincare’s matte, hydrating, and ultra formulas for a variety of skin types. If you prefer plant-based formulas, try Eminence Organics Red Currant Protective Moisturizer SPF 40 or Tropical Vanilla Day Cream SPF 40.
Your lips need SPF too! We love Jane Iredale’s Lip Drink SPF 15, which moisturizes and protects, and IMAGE’s Prevention+ Daily Defense Lip Enhancer SPF 15, as well as their restorative RONERT MD Restoring Collagen Lip Enhancer SPF 15. (Pro tip: Get a tube for your bag and one for your car so you’re never without it.) If you like the product, you’re more likely to make it part of your daily routine, so chat with your Cole’s esthetician to find the perfect pick.
My skin and hair are looking as dry and scorched as the grass during a heat wave. Help!
Summer fun can wreak havoc on your skin, hair, and hair color. We recommend Oribe’s Beautiful Color line of shampoo, conditioner, and masque to replenish your shade and provide moisture, tame frizz, and protect from UV rays, and Aveda’s Nutriplenish line conditions and hydrates. Their leave-in conditioner is a great option for your beach bag; it has UV filters to protect hair from dryness caused by the sun.
Your hands are one of the first places that show sun damage, so be sure to apply sunscreen to them when you’re out and about. Aveda’s Hand Relief Night Renewal Serum plumps and improves their texture and smooths fine lines — the perfect addition to your bedside table.
Uh-oh. I got too much sun. Which services restore post-sun skin and hair?
It happens to the best of us! And we’re here to help. Visit us for the pampering care and restoration you need.
The IMAGE O2 Lift facial treatment lightens, tightens and brightens your skin with the use of oxygen, enzymes and plant stem cells. The infusion of oxygen brings your sun-kissed skin back to life. The O2 Lift can be added on to any of our facials or be performed as a stand-alone service, too.
You can also take home some powerful skincare. We love the I MASK from IMAGE Skincare; the masks are hydrogel sheet masks that provide instant results to thirsty skin. The I MASK Hydration Sheet Mask is a blend of hyaluronic acid, mineral rich water, and green tea extract that revives and hydrates dull, tired skin. The I MASK Anti-Aging Sheet Mask is full of peptides and antioxidants that smooth the appearance of fine lines for youthful, luminous skin. Both masks should be applied to clean skin and should be left on for a minimum of 10 minutes — the longer the better is the ultimate post-pool day treat!
As for your hair, a classic Malibu Treatment will remove product, chlorine, mineral build-up, and discoloration. (If you ever had green hair from chlorine, you’re probably familiar with this service.) Of course, there’s nothing a fresh cut and color can’t fix, so if your shade is looking dull or your ends are tried, visit us to give them a refresh and emerge looking as bright and beautiful as the sun itself.
Enjoy your summer!
Wherever you’re headed this summer, we hope you safely enjoy fun in the sun!