Protecting Your Skin From Damaging UV Rays


Ah, it’s about that time of the year again. The sun is shining, the temperature is rising, and the many beaches of Charleston are calling your name. While it’s always enjoyable to lounge in the sunshine for countless hours at a time on your days off from being a busy college student, often times we don’t realize the damage we may be inflicting on our skin and our bodies in the process. Keep in mind that the sun gives off harmful UV rays, which can cause severe damage to our skin and even skin cancer.


Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy the beautiful sunshine that we are lucky enough to experience in this amazing city we live in. It just means that you should always be aware of the dangers that come alongside obtaining a colorful glow. The key is to simply take care of your body while tanning and being in the sun.  

First and foremost, it is always important to wear sun screen when outside in the sun. The strongest sunrays tend to occur between the hours of 10am and 4pm. And, as we all know, this is optimum beach time for college students on the weekends. So many people, and especially young adults, do not wear sunscreen when tanning in an attempt to get more color. Neglecting to wear sunscreen at all is bad enough, but between the hours of 10 and 4 when the sunrays are strongest could do some serious damage to your skin.


Sunscreen provides protection for your skin by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sunrays. It is recommended by the American Skin Association to always wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 15, no matter what your skin color may be. Also, don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen if you stay in the sun for extended periods of time. Waterproof sunscreen is a good product to use if you know you’ll be in and out of the water while enjoying a day at the beach. However, you should also reapply waterproof sunscreen too!

Another tip is to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and face, and to bring a cover up or loose fitting clothing in case you feel yourself getting too much sun. An umbrella is also a good option for a long day at the beach. We’ve all heard the statement that cloudy days can give you just as good a tan as a clear-skied day, and this is extremely true. The American Skin Association declares that UV rays can be as strong on cloudy, hazy days as well as on bright, sunny ones.


On the topic of skincare and summertime, I thought that you ladies might want to know of some foods that are extremely good for your skin. After all, summertime means less makeup and less clothing! Here are some reasonably healthy foods that will make your skin fabulous. Enjoy!


1. Avocados

Avocados are super great for your skin, because they have tons of essential oils and B-complex vitamins that nourish your skin completely. Avocados contain lots of vitamin B3, which is very important for healthy skin. This vitamin is actually an anti-inflammatory, which soothes irritated and blotchy skin. One avocado contains 3.8mg of vitamin B3 that is 27% of your daily need!

2. Mangoes

This fruit has more than 80% of your daily need for vitamin A, which maintains and repairs your skin cells.

3. Almonds

Yum! Not only are these tasty snacks delicious, but they also contain 150% of your daily need for vitamin E.

4. Oysters

This one caught me by surprise, but oysters are really great for your skin and fight pimples because they are rich in zinc. Seafood anyone?

5. Baked Potatoes

Although carbs may not be the best food for your “summer body”, eat all the baked potatoes you want (with the skin) in regard to skincare! This food provides you with 75% of your daily copper need, which works with vitamin C and zinc to support your skin structure. 

6. Acerola Cherries

Average cherries aren’t able to help your complexion, but Acerola cherries are different. This food gives you 100% of your daily need for vitamin C, which is really fantastic for your skin.