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Protect your skin so it can protect you! Five Simple Tips for Summer Skin Care

Between busy schedules and wanting to get outside in the warm weather, most of us do not take time for intensive skin care. Just make sure you attend to the basics! Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help slow the natural aging process, prevent sunburn and potentially serious skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips:

  1. Protect yourself from the sun – As summer breaks into full bloom, so does the effect of increased exposure of our skin to the sunlight’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. High exposure to those rays during peak hours (10am-4pm) can cause harm to our skin. Although we do get Vitamin D from sunlight, if you are going to be out in the sun for longer than 15 minutes, proper protection is required to prevent burning and other damage. Use sunscreen if you are going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time engaging in activities like exercising outside, golfing, or enjoying the beach. Utilizing a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and reapplying it every two hours is a great start to protecting the skin against UV rays. Other helpful tips include seeking shade and wearing protective clothing (long sleeve shirts, pants, and hats).
  2. Treat your skin gently – Limit bath time and avoid strong soaps. Hot water, long showers, and strong soaps strip the skin of essential oils. Use warm water, cool wet compresses, and soothing lotions such as those that contain aloe vera. Gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel ensuring that some moisture remains within the skin. To protect your skin when shaving, apply shaving cream to the area first and make sure to shave in the direction the hair grows.
  3. Don’t smoke – Smoking ages your skin and contributes to wrinkles. It also narrows the capillaries, tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin, which decreases blood flow and reduces the skin’s nourishment. Smoking damages collagen and elastin fibers which give your skin its strength and elasticity.
  4. Eat a healthy diet – A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat red, orange, and dark-green vegetables to help provide proper vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin care. Examples of such food items are tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Don’t forget to keep your skin and your whole body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  5. Manage stress – Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts. Take steps to manage your stress by setting reasonable limits for your to-do list, and make time to pursue the things you enjoy.

Your skin is an important organ that serves as your body’s primary defense against many kinds of infection. Utilizing these tips can help your skin perform at peak levels and promote your overall health.

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER).