Sensational Summer Skin

There are few things as deliciously pleasing as soaking up the summer’s rays on a hot afternoon. Keeping skin healthy and safe during the summer is not quite as simple, but achievable by following a few skin care rules of the road and planning ahead.

Hydrate
Hotter weather causes more perspiration, so replenish your body’s supply of H2O regularly to keep skin hydrated and healthy. The Mayo Clinic staff indicates that water makes up about 60 percent of the average person’s body, so an adequate daily water intake would be about 13 cups of non-caffeine liquids for men and about 9 cups for women. These amounts can vary, depending on how active you are and how hot it is outside. Additional tips include applying lotion while skin is still damp from the shower and spritzing water on your face to keep your skin moist.

Sunscreen
The Skin Cancer Foundation states on their website that most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do a good job of protecting skin from the sun’s damaging UVB rays. However, the key is to apply the sunscreen liberally and often, especially when spending more than a few minutes outdoors, such as while visiting a theme park, gardening, or parked poolside for the day. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests putting a full ounce (“about a shot glass full”) of the lotion on about 15 minutes before venturing outdoors and then re-applying the same amount every two hours.

Limit Sun Exposure
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends limiting sun exposure as a preventative to skin cancer. While a little bit of sun exposure helps your body produce Vitamin-D, overexposure, particularly that resulting in sunburn, is dangerous. People with fair skin and freckling may be particularly prone to skin cancer and should avoid too much exposure. ASCO advocates limiting exposure during the hours of the day when the sun is most intense, which is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rule of thumb is that if your shadow is shorter than you are, then it is time to seek shade.

Eat Red and Orange Foods
Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended eating red and orange foods in a June 2012 article, because these foods contain the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene. He shared, “These tasty vegetables offer natural protection from the sun, and may help repair cells after sun damage.” There are some additional foods that can up your protection from UV rays, but don’t think that eating these foods negates the need for sunscreen. You’ll still need to protect skin in other ways.

Exfoliate
Dry skin can be a problem both in the winter and summer. Regular exfoliation is the key to clearing away dead skin cells so healthy skin can be revealed. There are many scrubs and products that can help you exfoliate at home while you are waiting for your next scheduled facial. A regular facial encourages skin to take on that healthy, fresh and hydrated glow.

Ongoing Skin Health
There is no reason to be scared of summer skin as long as precautions are taken and skin is kept hydrated and protected. The extra rays can help improve mood and productivity because of additional daylight hours. However, remember that sun damage can build throughout a lifetime of sun exposure, so try to avoid getting sunburned. Those who are on prescriptions that cause sun sensitivity should avoid the outdoors, especially during times when sunlight is intense. Do a regular skin self-exam, carefully monitoring moles and marks for any changes or growth. If your skin has a suspicious place, visit the doctor or dermatologist for further analysis.