Summer is here, and it’s the time of year when the sun’s harmful UV rays can wreak havoc on your skin as you spend time enjoying the warmer weather outdoors. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. We also know that sun exposure is the most significant factor in the aging of our skin. Follow these five skin care survival tips to protect your skin:
1. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays—look for that on the label. Also, choose one that has an SPF of at least 30. Apply it liberally to all exposed surfaces; reapply every two hours, and again after emerging from water (even if it says it’s water resistant). Be sure to apply it to those commonly forgotten or hard-to-reach areas, such as the skin behind your ears, between your toes, at the top of your scalp, and on the bottom of your feet. And don’t forget to have someone put sunscreen on your back, too!
2. Accessorize for added protection
There is some very stylish clothing available today that uses special sun-protective fabric—imagine that! Look for a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) value on the label. The higher the UPF, the better. Wear a hat with a large brim, and invest in sunglasses that are highly protective against both UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses help protect against cataracts, as well as help you to avoid those wrinkles around your eyes from squinting!
3. Be mindful of medications
From antibiotics to antidepressants, there are a wide range of medications that increase your risk of getting serious sunburn. Check out this list of medications that are cause for concern. If you’re taking any of these, your best bet is to avoid midday sun (between10 a.m. and 3 p.m.) and take extra precaution with more sunscreen and protective clothing at all other times.
4. Stay well hydrated
Dehydrated skin leads to a loss of the skin’s protective barrier, which also contributes to early skin aging. To keep your skin as healthy as possible, be sure to drink plenty of water—especially during the summer months when it’s hot outside. The warmer the weather, the more water you lose through perspiration and sweat. So, the more you are sweating, the more water you should be drinking. Try mixing in a powdered rehydration product into your water—great for skin, muscles, and more!
5. Nourish your skin
Eating a healthful diet and using skin care products enriched with antioxidants will provide your skin the nourishment it needs from both the inside and the outside. A variety of nutrients are needed by the skin to help protect, repair, and maintain its radiance and youthful appearance. Vitamin C is essential to make collagen, a major structural component that gives our skin its elasticity. Vitamin A helps repair skin cells, and the antioxidant activity of vitamins E and C can help protect skin from some of the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Think about adding these as supplements, along with eating those five to seven servings of fruits or veggies daily.