Most people love it when the winter snow and freezing winds start giving way to the soft beauty of springtime. It means summer, sun and fun are right around the corner. And most of us love those long, warm, sunny summer days. It’s a chance for us to get outside and be more active, breath fresh air, have a bit of fun while losing some weight, and start getting back that wonderful, healthy looking summer glow.
The sunlight we so adore though, can be quite damaging to our skin over the years. Spending too much time in the sun unprotected can damage our skin’s collagen and elastin – both of which are critical components to having healthy, younger looking skin. The UV rays from the sun also cause dark spots to develop on your skin over time too. These are often called liver spots, and they’re caused by damage the sun has done to the pigment cells of your skin.
The hot, humid weather in summertime can also cause us to sweat more. This creates more oil in our faces particularly, and can lead to additional blocked pores, the dreaded blackheads, and acne breakouts.
All these things contribute to premature aging. When we get wrinkles, dry leathery looking skin, and brown spots… we simply look old. Sometimes much older than our years.
Thankfully there are many ways to enjoy the beautiful sun while still protecting our skin from it too. So let’s look at some of the most essential steps to taking care of your skin during the summer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) one out of five people in the United States will develop some kind of skin cancer during their life. So first and most importantly: You must wear sunblock. Sunblock will not keep you from getting a tan, so you can still get a bit of the healthy summer glow you really love. It will however, prevent your skin from burning as quickly. And burning the skin is one of the fastest ways to make it look horrible, and much older than it should.
Wear sunblock on all exposed skin, and be sure it’s at least SPF 15 or higher. If you don’t care for sunblock itself, you’ll find excellent high quality hand and body moisturizers which have SPF 15 or higher in them, so use those instead. Really good ones have added antioxidants, special age-defying oils and other essential ingredients for helping your skin retain its softness and elasticity, which helps keep it looking fresh and young.
Protecting your face and lips from harsh sunlight is even more important, because these areas have very tender skin. And your face is where the wrinkles and other age revealing issues will usually start showing up first.
Use high quality facial moisturizers which have SPF and antioxidants in them as well, and put this on right out of the shower each morning while your skin is still damp and open to absorbing additional moisture. If you wear makeup each day, let your moisturizer absorb and dry fully, then apply your makeup over it as you normally would. Using makeup products which also have SPF protection in them is an excellent additional precaution.
Don’t forget to protect your lips too. Your lips have no sweat glands of their own, so they can dry out very quickly when you’re out in direct sunlight. This leads to dryness, cracking and bleeding that’s quite painful and ugly too.
Apply your lip moisturizer at least every two hours while out in the sun, and try to use a product that will actually be absorbed into your skin and help it stay soft. Baby oil and Vaseline stay on top of your lips and create a shine, which will draw the sun to your lips even more, and cause them to burn faster.
A better option for keeping your lips safe from severe sun damage is to apply a good penetrating moisturizer first, then put on some lipstick which has SPF of it’s own.
Taking just these few small precautions when you’re out playing in the sun will allow you to enjoy it for many more years to come, and look younger and healthier too!
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