With the summer in full swing, it’s time for a reminder about just how important it can be to maintain healthy skin in warmer weather. Here are things you might not have known about how to protect yourself from premature aging and get healthy, glowing skin this summer.
1. Avoid tanning and burning.
The cumulative effects of sun exposure from damaging UV rays over the course of your lifetime are the main reason behind most visible signs of aging, like wrinkles, uneven skin texture, hyperpigmentation, and sun spots. While you may associate a tan with health or fitness, the truth is that there is no such thing as a healthy way to tan.
The consequences of overexposure to UV rays are both cosmetic and medical. If you’ve been trying to get a tan in search of a “healthy glow,” you’re doing yourself much more harm than good when it comes to premature aging and increasing your risk of developing skin cancer as well. Don’t make the mistake of believing the myth that tanning beds are safer – in fact, the UVA light they emit is much more intense than what you receive outdoors, and it penetrates the skin deeper, not only causing skin cancer, but creating more leathery, wrinkled skin.
2. Load up on sunscreen.
While applying sunscreen is essential if you’re going to be spending time at the beach, the baseball game, or an outdoor music festival this summer, the truth is that you should get in the habit of putting on sunscreen year-round. When shopping for sunscreen, look for the terms “broad-spectrum” – which means it blocks both UVA rays and UVB rays – and “non-comedogenic”, which means it’s a product that won’t clog your pores. In addition, you should get a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
3. Eat a balanced diet.
Antioxidants are your body’s best natural resource for fighting off aging, and the good news is that some of the foods richest in antioxidants are also some of the most delicious, including blueberries, raspberries, spinach, nuts, green tea, and dark chocolate. Choose organic, all-natural foods wherever possible to limit the amount of toxins you consume.
4. Defeat stress.
We live in a stressful world, which can start to take its toll on your health – including your skin. Stress causes your body to produce excessive amounts of a hormone called cortisol, which can cause a hormonal imbalance that results in breakouts.
Here are some healthy stress-relief activities to try:
- Schedule a social outing, like a lunch or after-work cocktail hour, with friends you haven’t seen in a while.
- Watch a funny movie or a stand-up routine on Netflix. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
- Working up a sweat is one of the greatest ways to reduce stress from your life.
- Breathing exercises, yoga and meditation can all lower stress levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to shut your eyes, open your mind and let go of whatever’s stressing you out.
5. Go to bed early.
When the days last so much longer in the summer, it can be tempting to go to bed later, too, but maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best things you can do for healthy, glowing skin. When you sleep, you are giving your body the opportunity it needs to repair the cell damage that adds up during the day. Restorative sleep helps reverse small daily breakdowns, so when you don’t get enough sleep, your skin will be the first place to reveal it. Aim for at least eight hours of good-quality sleep per night, and you’ll see the benefits in your skin health.
6. Get professional skin care from the experts.
If you’re looking for other ways to refresh and rejuvenate your skin, contact our specialists at the Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery. We offer a range of medical-grade facial treatments, such as chemical peels and deep pore cleansing, and we can even work with patients who have sensitive skin or rosacea. Or, you may be interested in our laser or injectable treatments for younger-looking skin without surgery. Use our website to request a consultation to determine what options are best for you.