Summer is just around the corner. These 7 tips will help protect the health of your skin.
1. Sunscreen – Don’t leave home without it
We all know about the importance of wearing sunscreen. But sometimes we forget it’s vital to wear it everyday, not just when we plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. Even if you are just running errands, small chunks of time in the sun add up to a lot more exposure than you may realize.
- Make sure to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go out. Most people don’t apply enough. A good guide is a teaspoon for the face. For they body, about as much as would fill a shot glass. Put on enough so that it takes a full minute to rub in. If you swim, sweat or are outdoors for a long time, reapply every two hours.
- Make sure it’s water resistant (so that sweat or water cannot easily remove it).
- Choose a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection, which means it contains benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium oxide, zinc oxide, and avobenzone (Parsol 1789). Unless it has these agents, the sunscreen may filter only UVB light, the major culprit for sunburn and skin cancer. Yet, protection from UVA is important, too. It is responsible for premature aging and the development of skin cancer.
Tip: Appling a vitamin C antioxidant serum before using sunscreen can improve sunscreen’s effectiveness against skin damage.
Northwest MediSpa carries EltaMD’s line of sun protection products, that are hypoallergenic and sensitivity free.
2. Clothing and Hats Can Help
Always wear a broad brimmed hat to keep your scalp and your ears protected.
Garments made of unbleached cotton, high-luster polyesters, and thin, satiny silk can absorb or reflect UV radiation, preventing damaging rays from reaching the skin. Darker materials tend to absorb UV light, keeping it away from your body.
Clothes with tight weaves or knits prevent penetration of harmful rays.
3. Wear Lip Balm
The lip is a common site for skin and lip cancer, primarily because they receive extended sun exposure. We often forget to put sunscreen or balm in this area, or lick it off. To fully protect lips:
- Look for lip-specific products that have SPF 15 or higher.
- Apply lip product every two hours or so, based on the amount of contact with the UV rays.
- While in the sun, stay away from baby oil, petroleum jelly, or high-shine lip gloss.
- If you decide to wear lipstick, try darker shades as they provide more UV defense than sheer, glossy ones.
- Better yet, wear lipstick with SPF, or apply a lip conditioner with SPF and antioxidants under lipstick for extra moisture and protection.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Oversized sunglasses help cover more of the eye which helps keep intense light from damaging the back of the eye.
Prolonged UV exposure can redden the whites of eyes, just as the sun can burn skin. Over time, this can cause eye problems, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. To prevent eye damage, choose sunglasses with the following qualities:
- UV 400 protection. It blocks up to 400 nanometers of UV light.
- Impact resistant. The shades can possibly withstand active lifestyles or an accident.
- The right color. Translucent-colored sunglasses are hot, but to ward against distortion of colors, stick to gray and brown shades.
- The right price. Effective eye defense can fit any budget, from $10 to $1,000.
5. Keep Skin Hydrated
Central Oregon’s arid high desert climate can really dry out your skin, making a good moisturizer essential. Ask a member of the Northwest MediSpa team which skin care management system will help keep your skin looking and feeling great.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Higher temperatures and more time outdoors leads to internal dehydration, which can result in headaches and dizzy spells. Be sure to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day to help maintain your body and skin’s critical moisture balance, and assist in detoxification. Tip: If you drink caffeinated beverages, you must triple the amount of water you drink.
7. Repair and Treat Sun Damage
Brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles are caused by UV light whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin a cascade of damage results (including the stripping of barrier lipids) causing inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth, and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes. A tan may be a popular summer look, but it indicates damage. The Northwest Medispa team is happy to help you choose a skin treatment plan to help undo sun damage, and to further protect your skin from the aging effects of UV.