Summer Skincare Tips
Warm, sunny days are upon us – this means family vacations filled with outdoor activities. With that in mind, it’s time to clock in long hours on the beach, playing in waterparks and going on hiking adventures. While you’re spending so much time outside, chances are you may be getting more than your recommended daily dose of Vitamin D.
The sun’s rays may cause us to look and feel good now, but the majority of damage to the skin is a result of too much exposure to the sun and its UV rays. The price you pay for that great look can be more dangerous than you know. The damages will manifest itself in several different forms on your skin. Furthermore, because soaking up the sun and getting that “healthy glow” may be one of your summer goals, you will want to take caution and read on.
Age spots are flat brown or gray patches of skin that are mistakenly thought to be the result of aging. However, while they appear more often as you age, they are actually caused by sun damage. These blemishes are not deadly, but can be hard to distinguish from Actinic Keratosis, which are precancerous lesions. Additionally, other conditions caused by UVA and UVB rays include sunburns, wrinkles, basal cell carcinoma and, the deadliest of all, melanoma.
The purpose here is not to make you paranoid, but simply aware so you can take proper precautions whether you are at home or on the road. The most effective way to protect your skin is to cover up with a hat or light-colored clothing. Moreover, for those long days at the beach, bring a beach umbrella. What qualifies as a beach friendly umbrella? Any covering that protects you from the rays from above. Be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply throughout the day.
Exfoliation is another way to smooth out the skin by removing dead surface cells that can produce a dull, blotchy, uneven appearance. For those ugly spots, you can purchase an over-the-counter product that will lighten these areas. One such skincare item is an at home microdermabrasion kit (like the one found here). Items like this will gently remove the top layer of skin to make the face look softer, brighter and give an overall younger appearance. To promote more collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve acne, use a light-emitting diode. This is an electronic light source, and units can be bought for the home. The point you should take in is that many solutions can be had over the counter, ultimately saving you money as you forego those expensive professional facials.
Of course you want to protect yourself from the more serious effects of sun damage, but you also want your skin to look young and fresh. To rejuvenate the skin and maintain that youthful glow, hydration is key. Drink a gallon of water a day and of course don’t forget to moisturize. A moisturizer with hyaluronic acid can help plump up the skin around the eyes, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Moreover, continued use can help the skin to produce more collagen – the protein that helps give skin its texture and appearance.
All of these issues are preventative and corrective measures that you can take on your own. However, for a more personal and diagnostic approach to your skin woes, seeing a professional is always your best bet. A dermatologist can also prescribe or steer you towards the most ideal solution for you.
Typically, dermatologists recommend using antioxidant-rich topical creams on a nightly basis. Antioxidants protect the skin’s DNA to prevent cancer, and also keep skin firm and prevent sagging. In addition to topical creams, a diet rich in antioxidants is essential—try to eat more blueberries, cranberries, pinto beans, artichokes and Russet potatoes.
Keep these tips in mind as you close out your summer in the sun to truly get the most out your fun.