There are so many ways to get out and enjoy summer. Swimming, boating, outdoor sports and exercise, gardening, and camping are just a handful of the activities that can bring joy and fun to our otherwise stressful and busy lives. Not only is getting outside good for your health, it is a great way to spend time and create lasting memories with friends and family. However, before you head out the door, take a moment to make sure you have a skin care plan in place for yourself and your loved ones. The more we learn about the lasting damage the sun can have on your skin, especially as we age, the more important it is to make sure you are protecting yourself.
The first step in protecting skin from the hot summer sun is, of course, using sunscreen. Although there are more types of sunscreen now then ever before, the same basic rule applies: make sure you cover all exposed areas of skin with at least a shot’s glass worth of sunscreen, and reapply after swimming, sweating or prolonged exposure. It sounds so simple, however, many people forget to reapply or don’t use enough. Don’t forget areas such as the tops of your ears and your scalp. Wearing a hat, sunglasses, and items of clothing with sun protection will also help you. All of this helps create a protective barrier between your skin and harmful UVA/UVB rays that could mean the difference between healthy, youthful skin as you age, or skin that is affected by wrinkles, age spots, and the biggest threat, skin cancer.
Did you know that what you eat and the medications or supplements you take could have an effect on your skin in the sun? Many dermatologists recommend boosting your intake of vitamins C and E through supplements. Both vitamins are thought to help combat sun damage. Also, try to pack your diet with antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids through foods such as fish, leafy greens, berries and colorful vegetables to keep your skin looking and feeling smooth and healthy.
Check with your doctor if you take medications regularly to make sure they do not cause photosensitivity, which is when a combination of certain drugs and the sunlight causes a reaction and could damage your skin. Certain acne medications, cancer drugs, antibiotics and antihistamines are some examples of medications that cause photosensitivity.
Protecting yourself every day from the sun by having a smart summer skin care plan in place will help you look younger, have healthier-looking skin and help combat the skin problems that many people experience as they age. Taking the time now will provide important anti-aging benefits for your skin in the future.