With the summer comes added fun in the sun. However, that mood may change when you start to notice the creeping consequences of too much time exposed to intense UV rays: wrinkles, discoloration, sun spots, and dry, cracked skin, among other side effects. The good news is it’s never too late to start protecting your skin from the sun. Here are some tips to keep your skin healthy for the long haul.
Smart sunscreen 101
No sunscreen product can protect the skin 100% from harmful rays, but knowing what kind to look for matters. Buy only broad-spectrum-protection sunscreen, which covers you from both kinds of harmful, cancer-connected rays: UVB, which can cause risky sunburns, and UVA, which is linked to other signs of premature aging. An SPF choice depends on how quickly you burn. A sunscreen with SPF 30, for example, means it should take 30 times longer to burn with it on, and will deflect about 97% of burning rays. Remember to check expiration dates and toss old sun lotions that may be doing you more harm than good. Don’t forget your highly exposed lips and stock up on SPF balms for every bag. Also, find a sweat or water-resistant sunscreen that will work best for your activities. And the No. 1 rule for any kind of sunscreen: reapply, reapply, reapply!
The “skinny” on coverage
We wouldn’t wish a summer spent indoors on any lover of the sun, but your skin can only take so much before you’ll start to see unwanted side effects. If you’re going to be exposed to skin-penetrating rays for any length of time, consider some easy ways to cover up. Don some full-coverage, UV-blocking sunglasses that will help protect the skin around your eyes and slow pesky crow’s feet. Treat yourself to a new broad-rimmed hat or a sport-specific cap with a flap that covers the burn-prone neck area. Likewise, don’t underestimate new lightweight, high-tech fabrics made to absorb or reflect UV radiation—and still look stylish on the beach or during your activity of choice. When it comes to the sun, the less your skin comes in contact with it the better.
From the inside out
We’ve talked about external applications, but what about tips for protecting your skin from the inside out? First, drink water—in the summer more than ever. Sun and heat work in combination to dehydrate the skin, so drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after sun exposure and outdoor activities will only help your cause. Next, take care of your body and maintain good health overall to ensure sun exposure doesn’t take more of a toll than it should.
Remember: A beautiful, youthful look starts with healthy skin. And unfortunately, too much sun without proper precautions can undermine the natural beauty of the face. To help you along your journey to maintaining—and loving—the skin you’re in all year long, Smith Cosmetic Surgery offers some of the industry’s most reputable and scientifically advanced physician-only skincare lines exclusively for our clients. Interested in learning more about realizing optimal skin health? Give us a call today.