A lot of people travel somewhere sunny for the holidays, and they tend to forget that the usual rules of proper skin care still apply. Just because the calendar says December does not mean the sun is on holiday, too. Keep these skin care tips in mind on your trip to St. Somewhere.   

Protect yourself while swimming, hiking 
A lot of guys don’t wear sunscreen when they’re being active outside because their brains go into a mode where they’re doing something healthy, so nothing bad could happen to them. Staying on the lake, on the court or on the trail for an extended period of time is often worse than just sunning yourself because you’re distracted by the activity, and don’t realize how burned you’re getting.

Take a siesta
The sun is closest to the Earth’s surface, and hence, most powerful, between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm. Steal a page out of the European playbook, and take a siesta during part or all of that time. Not only will it protect your skin, but taking a break in the middle of the day has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease. 

Stay out of the tanning booth
It’s common for people to use tanning booths to get some color before their vacation. Many consider these sizzling, skin darkeners to be safer than tanning in the normal sun. This is false. Tanning booths will make the claim that they use "harmless" UVA rays to induce a darker hue, but both UVA and UVB rays are forms of ultraviolet light, and both can cause damage, even subdermally. 

Treat your sunburn

Eat dark chocolate
Indulge. It’s the holidays. A study by the European Dermatology London clinic suggests that eating large amounts of dark chocolate can lower a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. The chocolate has to be extra dark because that’s the stuff that is very high in flavonols. These are the antioxidants that help to combat the free radicals caused by UV damage that induce skin cancers.

Check in with your doctor
Checking in with your doctor, especially if you’ve got lighter skin and/or spend a lot of time in the sun, is key to preventing serious medical skin conditions. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is best treated if detected early. If doctors can catch it in Phase 1 or 2, the likelihood of removal and subsequent cure is much greater. Phase 3, however, is usually not treatable by conventional methodology.