How to Properly Care For Fair Skin, as Told by a Pale Ginger
I love being pale, but caring for fair skin is a totally different story–especially if you live in sunny Los Angeles like myself and enjoy the summer.
Growing up, I longed to be tan. In fact, I did a whole post on how I went to my prom with a terrible orange spray tan because I wanted to be darker so badly! I tried everything in my teens, including tanning beds (please don't do them!) and laying out in the sun, which have ultimately led to problems now that I'm a little bit older.
As a pale ginger, I've learned a thing or two over the years on the best practices for taking care of my Snow White skin while still being able to live my life. Below, my tips on how to care for your perfectly pearly pale skin.
1. Wear Sunscreen All Over Everyday
No brainer, right? Wrong. Most people still don't wear sunscreen everyday. And those that do tend to only apply it to their face in the form of moisturizer. But what about the other 90% of your skin? I make sure to cover all the exposed areas in the morning with a mineral sunscreen before I leave the house. I also frequently reapply to my hands and face, which get the most sun exposure. I also like to keep an extra sunscreen in the car and in my purse for easy reapplication. Remember: As you get older, your hands are the first thing to show signs of aging. My favorite: Coola's Baby SPF 50 Moisturizer.
2. Always Wear Sunglasses and a Hat
It's always best to keep direct sun exposure off your face, so if you know you're going to be outside, work a hat into your outfit. And never forget your sunglasses. Let's be honest–sunglasses basically make an outfit these days so there's no reason not to wear them.
3. Combat Redness
Even if you don't burn, chances are if you're super pale, you get red and flushed easily. I like to call it the ginger glow. Sure, a little rosiness can be pretty, but I tend to turn more tomato red. Alas, there is a fix! Use a calming and soothing cream to calm down the redness. My faves are Eucerin Redness Relief and Clinique's Redness Solutions. However, sadly, this cream doesn't work when you get embarrassed (I've tried)… any other gingers out there flush super easily when they get a little uncomfortable 😳🤗?
4. Reapply Your SPF Every Two Hours
Do you know what SPF stands for? It means sun protection factor, and is a way of measuring the amount of UVB protection a product offers. A higher SPF doesn't mean you can spend more time out in the sun, it means the product is blocking out a larger percentage of UVB rays. For example, SPF 15 filters out around 83% of UVB rays, whereas SPF 50 blocks about 98% of them. So even if you're using SPF 100, make sure you reapply every two hours because the effectiveness of the sunscreen decreases as you wear it, especially if you're active.
5. Always Choose Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
Not all sunscreen is equal! Choose a product that says it's a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the culprits that lead to wrinkling and sunspots, whereas UVB rays tend to burn the superficial layers of your skin and play a key role in the development of skin cancer—yikes! So get a product that does both. You can't go wrong with Neutrogena's Beach Defense.
6. Up Your Post-Suncare Body Game
Even if I sit underneath an umbrella all day, the heat and indirect sun still take a toll on my skin. Just like we need to rehydrate our body after a long hike, we need to refuel and rehydrate our skin after a long day in the sun. I'm obsessed with After Sun Greek Yoghurt Cooling Gel for Face and Body because it really cools and calms the skin, and if you did get a little tan, it helps preserve the life of that, too.
7. Always Cool Down With a Face Mask
Can I let you in on a secret? Sometimes I even sunbathe (under an umbrella of course) with a cooling face mask on. It's kind of like having your own DIY spa day, because heat from the sun opens your pores. This also keeps me from getting super red flushed. Alternately, I love to face mask after a lazy summer day to relax and cool down. I have tons of favorites, Peter Thomas Roth's Cucumber Gel Mask, Skin Laundry's Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask, and Farmacy's Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask all top my list!
8. See a Dermatologist Annually
I started seeing a dermatologist annually when I was 12 years old. If you're super fair, you're more susceptible to getting skin cancer, so it's important to have a professional evaluate and moderate your moles and birthmarks to make sure they aren't pre-cancerous. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
9. Get Used to That Umbrella Life
It's just as fun to lay in the sun underneath an umbrella or in the shade, I promise. Always opt for the seat or lounge chair with the most shade. And if you're really extreme, bring a small umbrella a la Mary Poppins for long days in the sun.
Need to be hydrated in that heat? Stay cool for the summer with THESE healthy beverages.