How to Protect Your Skin This Summer
Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies. It serves to protect our inner organs and muscles from infections disease and acts as the body’s first line of defense from our environment. It’s also the first thing most people see when meeting us. There are plenty of reasons to take care of your skin since it impacts how you look and feel, and your overall health.
During the summer, our skin is exposed more than normal and at greater risk for damage. While there are certainly treatments to help damaged skin (which will be covered below), it’s important for everyone to take extra care in avoiding damage in the first place. Let’s discuss some ways you can take care of your skin this summer.
The Sun is NOT Your Friend
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. We all love a great day in the sun cooking out, being active, spending time with friends and enjoying the summer heat. But this summer, as you plan your beach days and barbeques, don’t forget to plan ahead to protect your skin. Even on cloudy days, harsh UV rays can reach your skin and cause damage.
Any time you’re going to be outside, you should apply sunscreen. For daily use, find a product with at least SPF 15 and broad-spectrum protection. If you’re in the sun for long periods of time, re-apply sunscreen every two hours. Re-apply hourly if you’re swimming or perspiring. This one small step can make a significant difference in protecting your skin from sun spots, wrinkles and skin cancer.
Baby Your Skin
When we’re children, our skin is pampered and protected at every turn. There’s no reason that TLC should be forgotten in adulthood. In fact, as we age, it becomes even more important to protect ourselves from exposure simply because we can’t avoid damage when we’re out living our lives. Consider how you would treat a baby’s skin. Limited bath time with warm – but not too hot – water. No harsh soaps or detergents. Sun protection through both sunscreen and clothing – including long sleeves, pants and hats.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to spend your summer in a full-coverage onesie, but some of these preventative measures can come in handy for all of us. Consider turning down the dial on your shower and using a mild cleanser. Prolonged exposure to hot water and harsh soaps can strip your skin of natural oils and moisture. If you’re spending the day outside, pack a hat and a light cover up that covers your arms. The more barriers between your skin and the elements, the better. And of course, be sure to spend some time in the shade while you’re outside to get out of the direct path of harmful UV rays.
Back to Basics
We’ve talked a lot about the sun, but it’s not the only way to damage your skin this summer. In general, your overall health will be reflected in your skin. We all know the damage smoking causes to our lungs and heart, but it wreaks havoc on the skin as well. Smoking cigarettes constricts the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layer of your skin, reducing the flow of oxygen and vital nutrients, and making the skin appear paler. Plus, the chemicals in cigarettes can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin, which help keep skin strong and tight. Save your skin and skip the cigarettes.
Additionally, your diet and overall lifestyle impact how your skin looks, feels and behaves. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, protein and plenty of water will do wonders for your skin. Moderate exercise will help your body to release toxins through sweat (and who doesn’t love that post-workout glow?). Getting enough rest allows your body time to restore and rejuvenate, so make sure you’re getting a full night’s sleep as well.
It’s almost impossible to avoid skin damage entirely. After all, our skin is meant to bear the brunt of the elements and protect other vital organs. The good news is, there are options to correct and repair damage to the skin. By combining preventative measures and periodic upkeep procedures, you can help your skin perform at its best – and keep it looking great in the process.
We offer a variety of services that can help put your best face forward. From chemical peels and personalized skin care packages, to Botox and skin cancer reconstructive surgery, our team is here to answer your skin care questions and help you decide what works best for you. Follow the steps outlined above and you’re off to a great start in saving your skin. We can help with the rest, just give us a call.